When their grandfather dies, Fliss and her sisters are astonished to inherit a French chateau! Travelling to Normandy to visit the beautiful if faded house, they excitedly make plans over delicious crepes and local cider in the town nearby.
They soon discover the chateau needs major work and a huge tax bill is due . . . Unable to sell but strapped for cash, Fliss determines to spruce up the elegant old rooms and open a B&B.
But Jacques, the handsome town mayor, is opposed to her plan. When it becomes clear that the only way to save the magnificent castle is to work together, Jacques and Fliss discover that they have more in common than they think…
Celebrations at the Chateau: A romantic and heart-warming read to curl up with this autumn by Jo Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Such a lovely book to settle down with in a cozy chair, a fuzzy heating blanket, warm spiced cider, a candle flickering on the side table, overlooking the view of autumn leaves as they fall off the trees. At least that’s what I did and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.
I would like to thank Random House UK, Transworld Publishers for providing me with an advance readers copy via access to the galley for free through the NetGalley program.
I’d recommend this book to anyone looking to get into the cozy spirit of getting lost in a story that is heartwarming, village sentimental, romantic, and has a touch of mystery to celebrate the season of nicely changing ambiance from autumn into winter.
The storyline was sweet, fun, engaging, and grounded in a bit of unspoken rich depth of character as life decisions unfolded into a greater part of village life. It had all the inviting community aspects of township that made this one a type of story that you can sink into and finish with feelings of hope, joy, and warmth that isn’t over indulgent.
The inheritance was a bit dramatic, was a bit less realistic from a legal standpoint, but I didn’t get caught up about it as I read along further.
The standout for me was the food and drink. Apples, apple cider, Kir Royale, Crémant with drop of créme de cassis, crepes, cheeses in a basket, crisps, breads, fish pie. All the lovely sweet and savory treats I feel like enjoying right now.
I liked the POV as simplified. The pacing was nice in the beginning with this hint of mystery about certain characters and behaviors which I felt was consistent in revealing backstory of writings by Jo Thomas, yet unique in how the atmosphere was set up to add some intrigue scenes appropriate for this autumn reading season. The pacing did slow a bit in the middle but I ultimately ended up entertained by the slowing of time, made it somewhat of a why should I be in such a hurry anyway type of read experience.
The characters were interesting on an individual level and their individuality showed among their interactions with one another in both action and dialogue which I much appreciated.
I did tire a bit about cars and machinery starting to life. Once mentioned was enough, but I could do without reading such a description in any book for the rest of my life at this point.
Back to the food and drink, the descriptions of all the courses was the bow on the top for me.
Always looking forward to more, the stories and writing are such a relaxing treat.
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