A French Affair by Jennifer Bohnet
A French Affair
What will be will be...
Belinda Marshall’s idyllic teenage life in Brittany, France, fell apart when her parents dramatically separated and her mother took her back
Fast forward thirty-five years when Belinda’s world is once again turned upside down.
It’s the week before Christmas and Belinda's employer 'surprises’ her by asking for her help to rejuvenate their latest investment, a run-down campsite in Brittany.
Memories and anxieties that had lain dormant for years suddenly begin to resurface.
As secrets from a lost life threaten to overwhelm her, there is a realisation that maybe she wasn’t told the whole truth by her mother all those years ago.
Can Belinda reconcile her emotions and find happiness once more in the place she so loved and called home?
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Having recovered from a divorce, Belinda’s life is nicely back on track. Working for a small hotel chain in Devon, with a flat on site and her daughter and grandchildren nearby, she is content in the moment and not ready for change or adventure, until life has other ideas. Her bosses have branched out and invested in a campsite in Brittany and she has little choice but to head over to project manage the renovations.
Sure of herself in the Devon hotel market, Brittany, a rundown campsite and the Frenchman she has to work alongside, take her out of her comfort zone. Belinda has a history in Brittany and if it were up to her, she’d be nowhere near the place, but the longer she is there, the more the memories she’s tried so hard to push to the back of her mind, come back to her. Finding a friendly face in Fern, the owner of a local Auberge, is one saving grace for Belinda. As the two women open up to each other, a friendship bond is formed as changes and new adventures appear on both their horizons.
I’m a great fan of Jennifer Bohnet’s books, many of which are set in the South of France, but this one, set where she lives in Brittany, had a different feel. I could visualise the Breton stone cottages, the ruggedness of the landscape and feel her love for this remote corner of north west France, and the people who live there. As well as a great sense of location, she has once again given us strong characters whose stories touched my heart. I loved Fern’s bond with her mother-in-law Anouk and could feel the warmth and love around the table at the Auberge, as well as taste the delicious local dishes she served up.
I enjoy characters with a story to uncover and a new journey to embark upon and in this book, we get that not only with Belinda, but with Fern and Anouk too. I really wanted Belinda to be able to put her past ghosts to rest in order to embrace a new beginning.
Pour yourself a wine, or maybe a Breton cider, and step into this book for a quick escape, you won’t regret it.
Jennifer Bohnet is the bestselling author of over 14 women's fiction titles, including Villa of Sun and Secrets and A Riviera Retreat. She is originally from the West Country but now lives in the wilds of rural Brittany, France.
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