Cover Image: The Recipe for Hope

The Recipe for Hope

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Member Reviews

This was a very sweet and fast read. I have not read anything by Fiona Valpy before but I enjoyed her style of writing. I liked the characters but I do wish that there had been more of a chance to get to know them. I felt that with a little more character development I would have cared more about this story. I read this book in one sitting and enjoyed it but I was left wishing for more.
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My new favourite author!

Fiona Valpy is my new favourite author!  Recipe for Hope is the third in a group of novels, republished by Lake Union with editorial changes, set in a hamlet in rural France fairly near Bergerac.  I love the little details known only to 'locals', what's not to love from a novel that talks about my all time favourite cheese (Trappe Echourgnac, a beautiful cheese finished with walnut liqueur....makes me long to be there just to write these words).  This is not serious literature.  But, with all the troubles in the world, I, for one, am reading a lot to escape, calm myself, and feel better.  This novel, while the third in a set of 3 novels, shares a few characters with the previous ones in the group, but is easily read stand-alone.  It has a sweet story with interesting characters with their own life challenges.  It is a fairly short novel, just right for a lazy afternoon, day at the beach or settling down in your bed to read yourself to sleep.  After reading the previous book in the group, I bought two of the prequels.  I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did.

Thank you to the publisher who lent me a time-constrained e-arc via netgalley.  This review is optional and my own opinion.
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As someone who has miscarried, the thematic material surrounding the loss of a child resonated with me. For some people, it might be a trigger. Thankfully, it isn't always front and center in the story, but rather woven into it in such a way that the reader can see the healing process starting for Evie.

The holiday setting in a more rural area of France was lovely and provided a good backdrop for the story.
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I love a Christmas themed book, and this was a particularly enjoyable. Whilst Evie’s reasons for travelling for Christmas were very sad, I loved how the author showed that there was hope for her future. The characters were well written and likeable (even her ex!) and I found the ending very satisfying.
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Coming in at just under 200 pages in the printed version (although I read an eARC kindly provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review), this is a fast read. Unfortunately the storyline wasn't that fast to start with; focusing on describing scenery which then wasn't taken any further. 

Still, it's a fantastic read, bringing Christmas spirit despite a Not-Christmas-Tree and an escape to France to avoid all things festive (and baby related).

It's a story about friendships, new opportunities and letting go of grief; to becoming a better version of oneself. All nicely wrapped up in some snow and to the smells of gorgeous French food. 

This book, and the previous two in the Escape to France series are all available now.
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I had read the first one of this series which I enjoyed and this one was just as good. A wry sweet read set in France. Loved the story and the characters. Looking forward to reading the third one. My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
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This is a good book. The two main characters are Evie and Didier. Evie is a chef and Didier is a doctor. There is an instant attraction. Evie has come to France after the death of her baby, she is heartbroken. Didier has come to France to sub for a doctor that retired.  Didier has recently had his fiancé pass away. They each have trust issues but together they work them out and fall in love.
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CW: death of a child 

Evie Brooks is in the depths of despair of grief. Her babies heart beat stopped at seven months Her friend Rose allows to her to use their summer house in France to get away from it all to grieve.
 
It was nice to escape to Bordeaux, France set in the winter from my home where we've been hitting the high 90s every day. This book was wonderful. It stirred so much emotion in me. I cried with Evie in the church pew. The writing transported me to the chateau with her found family. 

I'm now a big fan of Fiona Valpy and will definitely need to read the rest of her books.
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A Christmas read and my first from Fiona Valpy. Evie Brooke needs a place to flee to and the South of France seems perfect. She doesn't want to make the decision to go to the States or remain in London after a stillbirth and broken marriage. Rose and Max, her best friends have suggested their place as a hideout, where she can heal, take stock of her life and avoid OTT Christmas jollity and traditions. She spends the festive season in a remote cottage in a tiny hamlet. Although short (about 200 pages) the characters appeal and the description of the cottage and surroundings bring it to life. Uplifting, inspiring and worthwhile.

I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley at my request and this review is my own unbiased opinion.
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This was a new to me author, I hadn't heard of her before reading this novel, but the blurb for this book was enough for me to give her a chance.

The blurb read:
Evie’s running away: from her soon-to-be ex-husband’s shiny new life, from the devastating loss of her baby last year, from a memory-filled London and, most particularly, from Christmas. A remote cottage in the South of France seems like the perfect peaceful place to soothe her sorrows.

But the countryside soon proves anything but quiet, from the rooster crowing at dawn to the barn owl hooting through the night—not to mention Evie’s handsome neighbour, doctor Didier, who works away in his garage at all hours.

Unexpectedly, the sights and sounds of life amid the sparkling beauty of the Dordogne give Evie a renewed sense of inspiration, and with her French grandmother’s recipe book for company, she begins to rediscover her love of cooking. Soon, the tight-knit community begins to enfold her, reminding Evie what really matters in life.

But are Didier’s gorgeous blue eyes on more than Evie’s delicious dinners? And can a cancelled Christmas—complete with a Not-Christmas feast for two—heal her heart?

First of all, this is NOT new material, it was previously published in 2014 under the name of "The French for Christmas".

While the blurb held promise, sadly it didn't deliver. The setting and characters are fine, and there is some emotional drama throughout, but it all seemed a bit too fake, a bit too sweet and unrealistic. I didn't feel that there was any real growth from the characters, it was all a bit superficial.

I finished the book feeling rather unsatisfied.

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for supplying an ARC in return for an honest review.
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While I didn't originally realize that this was the final book in a trilogy/series, I felt that it read just fine as a standalone. This is such a heart-warming story with a great plot. The characters are very well developed, believable and relatable. The author does an amazing job at describing the settings, it really makes you want to visit these places yourself. This story starts off with the loss of a pregnancy, so there might be need to check the trigger warnings before reading.  This was a quick read for me, I read it in one sitting. I will definitely be going back to read the first two books in this series..
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A lovely, heart-warming read.  But be cautioned, this book may bring hunger pangs or a longing to get in the kitchen and cook French food!  After suffering a stillbirth and the estrangement from her husband, Evie is determined to skip Christmas and heads to France to hide away.  But a rekindled love of cooking, and growing feelings for an equally troubled neighbour, she is able to find a new sense of purpose.
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Fiona Valpy is always a good choice for an entertaining read. I don't think this book was overly memorable. At times there's a repetitiveness to her books, this one is no exception. But I don't regret reading it.
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A well plotted, heart-warming, and festive novel that made me smile and wish I could travel to Dordogne.
Sweet story, fleshed out characters, a compelling plot.
Recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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Fiona Valpy  never disappoints me. I love her writing and her ability to develop such relatable characters. This was a wonderful Christmas story centered on healing from grief, being open to what life holds and learning to trust in one's self. Thanks#NetGalley and #LakeUnionPublishing
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I didn't realise that this was the last of a trilogy of novelettes/novellas by Valpy until I read some reviews. It didn't really matter though. I liked this, but of the three stories, this was my least favourite. It just didn't grip me like the other two did. There were long sequences where Evie was on her own and her thought sequences were over long. I just wanted to get to the action. Loved the scenic description and the ending was satisfying. With thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a quick, easy read. I’d say it ended up as a cosy read, but as it does deal with the miscarriage of a baby, It doesn’t start this way. 
It’s well written with good characters, if a little predictable at times. 
Even so, I’d say it’s worth a read. 
Thank you to the author, the publisher and Netgalley for my arc.
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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an early review copy. 

This is the third book in the authors Escape to France books.  

An American Chef, Evie, is trying to come to terms with losing her stillborn baby, as well as her marriage coming to an end. 

She goes to a town in France, where she lives in a home of her friends. Whilst there, she makes some new friends and her heart begins to mend, she also falls in love again.

I recommend this book.
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Evie is mourning the loss of a pregnancy, her marriage is broken and her husband has moved on. She no longer feels the passion she did for cooking and as Christmas approaches and the anniversary of her loss she decides to spend the holiday in a remote French village alone. The cottage caretakers take her under their wings and there is a doctor next door similarly dreading Christmas. This is a short book at about 200 pages but the characters are lovely and the description of the cottage and surroundings bring it to life.

I would like to thank Netgalley and Amazon Publishing UK for providing me a digital copy.
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The story
Evie’s spent the last year grieving for the baby that she lost when 7 months pregnant, her husband who has moved on with his life without her and her career as a chef.  Her best friend offers Evie the use of their home in South West France for the month of December. In the little settlement on the Pilgrim path, Evie meets her three neighbours, elderly Eliane and her husband Matthias and doctor Didier. Her neighbours have also experienced grief and are different stages of dealing with it, and can help Evie put things into perspective. 

My thoughts
This is a shortish story that is being revamped and republished. It’s a sad read, with ultimately, a glimmer of hope and path to move forward to. It’s not an easy read and there is much that is heartbreaking, however there is also Christmas magic and acceptance, some food being cooked and shared and cozy snowy vibes. A sweet read ❄️🌲🐴
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