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Novel set in PROVENCE (and London)

10th August 2023

A Month in Provence by Gillian Harvey, novel set in PROVENCE (and London).

Novel set in PROVENCE

A Month in Provence by Gillian Harvey is either the perfect holiday read, or the chance to reminisce about this beautiful part of France. This gently paced romance includes peaks of angst and tension that will keep you reading and entertained. Gillian Harvey knows France well, having lived there for some years. She describes daily life in Provence with authority and an affectionate realism, so that you can’t help but smile.

Nicky Green is only 49, but most of her life seems to be behind her. Ten years ago she had to abandon a budding career in design after the death of her husband. And although her family is now grown and independent, she is still struggling to move on. Nicky’s faithful friend Jenny, a reality TV executive, understands and is always there to support her. She offers Nicky a last-minute opportunity: a hotel inspector-style transformation of a run-down property in Provence. Despite her lack of confidence, Nick can’t refuse. She arrives in the village of Roussillon “…hoping to change the fortunes of a ramshackle B&B, and her own, in one fell swoop.” But when she arrives she faces a real challenge. The budget is smaller than promised and the owner Robert, is uncooperative. Can she change the fortunes of the business in just a month? And can she win Robert round to her point of view?


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I loved the humour that runs through this book. The characters are realistic and likeable, and the problems thrown their way cause them real dilemmas. Many a mid-life woman has faced turning points, so it’s easy to identify with Nicky and I for one was cheering her on, hoping she would succeed. From my (older!) perspective, it was hard to see a 49-year-old as past it, whether in her business or romantic life, but of course that’s the whole point. Nicky displays a lack of confidence, so typical of many women, in everything from her schoolgirl French to relationships with her best friend and daughters. The setting might be boldest, most beautiful Provence, but the characters are mild and terribly British in their inability to communicate honestly – either with themselves or each other. In fact, the younger characters often have to remind their elders how to put themselves first and be braver. I predict this book will play with your emotions, but you will love it just the same!

Sue for the TripFiction Team

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Catch the author on Twitter @GillPlusFive 

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