Escape to the French Farmhouse by Jo Thomas

Del and Ollie moved to France six months previously, and, as it has not lived up to Ollie’s expectations, they are now packed up ready to go back to the UK. At the very last minute, as the removal lorry is about to head off, Del realizes that she wants to stay and try to make a go of it somehow.

What follows, even bearing in mind this is a work of fiction, is pretty far fetched. There are some interesting threads about the treatment of homeless people, and the behaviour of the British ex-pats in the town. I liked that Del took Stephanie, and her son Tomas, under her wing and helped them build a new life. Some of the characters, however, were not convincing as fully rounded human beings.

Jo Thomas vividly captures the sights and aromas of Provence, and you can almost smell the lavender as you read the story. For me, this was also part of the problem; there is just too much lavender. Don’t get me wrong, I  love the smell, in soap and bath oil, but not the taste in absolutely everything I eat.

Told in the first person, we get the whole story through Del’s eyes – which has its limitations – with a lot of repetitious thoughts, and no alternative perspective. This is really hard to pull off, and here it just did not work for me.

With an attractive cover and a cute dog, Escape to the French Farmhouse is a great way to take your mind off the British weather.

Thanks to the author, Corgi and NetGalley for a copy to review.

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