Wednesday, October 05, 2022

Blog Tour: A Year at the French Farmhouse by Gillian Harvey

Lily and Ben Butterworth have a dream. They are going to pack everything up and move to France. This is a dream that they have been talking about for years.  They are just waiting for the right time. Only problem is that every time Lily suggests that it is time, Ben finds reasons/excuses as to why it isn't.

When Lily is made redundant after ten years, she calls her best friend Emily and together they polish off a bottle of wine or two.  After Emily leaves, Lily is consoling herself by looking at holiday destinations. So it is something of a surprise the next morning when she receives notification that she has successfully purchased a dilapidated farmhouse in the Limousin region of France.

Once she gets over the surprise, she realises that this could be the perfect time to actually live the dream. Their son Ty is about to move to his university so he will be independent. Lily no longer has a job. Except Ben finally reveals that even though he has always said that he wanted the same dream as Lily, he really doesn't.

Lily is disappointed that once again it is her dream that is going to be thwarted, but not this time. She therefore heads to France to see the house that she has purchased. She knows that it isn't going to be a chateau given the price that she paid, but she is shocked at how much work will need to be done to get the house into a habitable state and get the gardens back into some kind of order. But it is work that she is willing to do so, even though there is a chance for her to back out, she commits to her dream.

The first person she meets in France is Frederique. He is the mayor of the small town and also the person who is selling the house. Soon, Lilly is meeting stylish Chloe and local farmer Claude who is always willing to lend a hand. She's not quite so keen to meet her immediate neighbour especially after she brings her a freshly killed chicken as a welcome gift. It is clear that Lilly has a lot to learn.

Gradually though, with the help of her new friends, she begins to build her life, always encouraged by Emily. And when Frederique makes it clear that that he is interested in her romantically, Lilly has to decide if she is ready to move on from her marriage. 

This is actually the second book with a similar premise that I have read over the last couple of weeks. I thought I was getting in early for this blog tour post when I started reading Escape to the French Farmhouse by Jo Thomas. I really enjoyed that book so I was a little concerned about reading this one so soon after. I needn't have worried. Whilst there was definitely a similar premise the books were sufficiently different. Both were really enjoyable!

I really loved the way that this book ended. I don't want to say too much but I was satisfied as I read the final words!

This author has written another couple of books. It is my intention to read more from her!

Rating 4/5

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources and Netgalley for the review copy.

About the Book

Escape to France with this warm, witty romantic read.After ten years of loyal service Lily Butterworth has been made redundant. Like any clever woman,she knows the cure to redundancy is a little too much wine and her bestfriend.

Only the next morning, Lily has more than a hangover . . . she has a whole new house–in France!

Seeing this as an opportunity instead of a disaster, she’s excited about finally moving to France, just as she and her husband always dreamed of. However, Lily is in for another surprise. Despite planning to move there for over 20 years, her husband never actually intended to go.

So begins a year in France, alone, renovating the gorgeous old farmhouse that is held together by wallpaper and wishes.

Will a year at the French farmhouse be just what Lily needs? Or could it be the previous owner,Frederique, that is the answer to Lily’s dreams?

About the Author

Gillian Harvey is a freelance journalist and the author of two well-reviewed women’s fiction novelspublished by Orion. She has lived in Limousin, France for the past twelve years, from where she derives the inspiration and settings for her books. Her first title for Boldwood, A Year at the French Farmhouse, will be published in Septemer 2022.  

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  1. It sounds like a real easy read with romance, adventure, and intrigue. Great review.

  2. It's a great concept/dream but I know I would run for home at the first sight of a bloody chicken! If the the heating and plumbing had not scared me off first... Much safer to read about it!

    1. I agree! It sounds so great, but also sounds like a lot of work