The Promise of ProvenceTitle:  The Promise of Provence
Series:  Love in Provence #1
Author:  Patricia Sands
Genre:  Women’s Fiction
Published:  October 6, 2015 (first pub. March 2013)
Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing
My Rating:  5 stars
Source:  NetGalley
Cover Description:

On the evening of her twenty-second wedding anniversary, Katherine Price can’t wait to celebrate. But instead of receiving an anniversary card from her husband, she finds a note asking for a divorce.

Fifty-five and suddenly alone, Katherine begins the daunting task of starting over. She has her friends, her aging mother, and her career to occupy her, but the future seems to hold little promise—until, after a winter of heartbreak, Katherine is persuaded to try a home exchange holiday in the South of France.

In Provence, bright fields of flowers bloom below medieval hilltop villages with winding cobblestone streets. Charmed by the picturesque countryside, the breathtaking Côte d’Azur, and the enchantment-filled boulevards of Paris, Katherine feels life opening up once again. Lavender perfumes the air, and chance encounters hint at romance and passion. But memories of heartbreak and betrayal linger—and her former life waits for her back home. Can she find the courage to begin again?

Read on for my thoughts on The Promise of Provence.  No true spoilers, promise.

The Promise of Provence is a novel that will bring many emotions to the forefront as you read this heartfelt story.  Katherine’s world is tilted when her husband celebrates their anniversary by leaving a bunch of flowers and a note asking for a divorce.  Not even face to face, but left on the counter for her to find.  I used the world ’tilted’ for a specific purpose.  I never got the  impression that Katherine’s world was destroyed by her husband’s betrayal – oh, yes she was devastated, that I don’t deny.  Yet, in some ways her marriage had kept her from many things, her friends for one.  Now those friends, who never gave up on her, will rally around her.

Eventually as Katherine begins to pull the threads of her life into a jumbled mix, she is encouraged to step out of her comfort zone and do a home exchange.  She will be able to get away from the memories that surround her at home, and perhaps breathe free for a short time while she decides what life will be like for her now.

The beauty of the south of France can be a healing experience for Katherine.  It is here among the new sounds, new experiences and new people that she will begin to heal.  It’s not instantaneous, it is more of a slow feeling of coming alive again.  The pain, the hurt will still linger, but Katherine is starting on the road to her future.

In many ways I found The Promise of Provence to be a slice of life novel.   Yes, it is full of the beauty, sounds, smells and emotions of a most magnificent place on earth, the south of France.  It is also one woman’s journey from what was to what might be for her now that the circumstances of her life have changed so drastically.  She still has a career, her mother to care for, friends who remained through her neglect of them – even if at times she doesn’t see these things as promising things, they are indeed.  A person can either be destroyed by choices that were made for them against their will, or they can rise like a phoenix and rebuild a different life in it’s place.  Not a carbon copy life, but a new one for the different person they have become because of their past experiences.

This is what I discovered within this amazing novel.  Perhaps The Promise of Provence will touch you in a different way.  But I found renewal within heartache, new life from the ashes and a brand spanking new life just waiting to be enjoyed.  I would highly recommend this beautiful story to any reader.  There are life lessons within if you choose to find them.

*I received an e-ARC of The Promise of Provence from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

Available in paperback and for the Kindle