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Review by Suze
Emmy's relationship with Nathan isn't what it used to be. They've grown apart and Emmy wants to make things better between them. She books a holiday in France at La Cour des Roses, a beautiful place in the Loire. They arrive at the guesthouse and everything looks fantastic. Emmy instantly loves the place, but the company is a little bit less pleasant. After just a few days Emmy gets the shock of her life and her relationship with Nathan is suddenly over.
Rupert, the owner of the guesthouse, needs to take it easy for several weeks. Nathan has left with Gloria, Rupert's wife, and Emmy is there to clean up the mess. She tries to help Rupert with his business as much as she can. Rupert is in his sixties and even though Gloria is younger, she's still quite a bit older than Nathan. Emmy doesn't have much time to cry, because running La Cour des Roses is quite a bit of work. She also makes new friends very quickly. Everyone is warm and welcoming and some of them are going out of their way to make her feel happy again. Maybe the holiday that had such a disastrous start isn't so bad after all. Only it's just a vacation, so the good times have to end at some point...
The Little French Guesthouse is a book about a topic I absolutely love, a guesthouse in France. I like nothing more than to travel there and stay at one, which is one of the reasons why I fell in love with this novel as soon as I started reading it. Helen Pollard has brilliantly captured the French countryside atmosphere and her descriptions are both detailed and accurate. I loved La Cour des Roses and would have traveled there straight away if I could. Rupert is a wonderful man and I had so much fun reading about his eccentric character and his charismatic way of dealing with his friends and his guests that I kept wishing he would be real.
Emmy is a sweet woman who's always there for others. I loved how her heart and her head constantly battle. I was curious to see which of them would win. She loosens up a little and the French countryside is good for her. I could picture the beautiful surroundings, the delicious food and the handsome men very well. I especially enjoyed the market day scenes which are so realistic. They were a lovely trip down memory lane for me.
Helen Pollard is a great writer. Her sentences flow easily and it isn't difficult to lose yourself in the amazing surroundings she writes about. Her stories come to life really well and I'm glad there's going to be a second book as I didn't want The Little French Guesthouse to end. I'm a big fan of France, I love a good romantic story and I have a weakness for mouthwatering food descriptions. This book has it all and I think it's the perfect summer read.
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