Cover Image: One French Summer

One French Summer

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Member Reviews

Fans of Jo Thomas and Milly Johnson will want to add Gillian Harvey’s enjoyable new novel One French Summer to their must-buy list.

Katy’s life has gone completely and utterly pear-shaped! Her only daughter has emigrated to the other side of the world and her husband has decided that he wants a break. Katy is suddenly at a loss. Her entire life has revolved around being a wife and a mother and she doesn’t know what she is going to do now that her daughter is no longer around and her husband has decided to call it quits! Luckily for her, her best friends Sam, Vicky and Ivy are always at hand with a sympathetic shoulder and helpful advice and they are not about to leave Katy to languish in the doldrums, so they propose a trip to France for a last minute retreat that will give her the opportunity to lick her wounds, rest, recuperate and figure out what she is going to do next with her life.

Under the sizzling French sun, Katy begins to vanquish old ghosts, heal from old wounds and start making plans for the future. As her worries begin to melt away in the beautiful French countryside, will this reset enable Katy to win her husband back? Does she even want him back? Or could she find everything she’s always wanted in the most unlikely of places when she least expects it?

Gillian Harvey’s One French Summer is a gorgeous, feel-good and escapist tale sprinkled with wit, humour, pathos and charm that readers will absolutely love. A wonderful story about second chances, new beginnings, the importance of friendship and embracing life that will strike a chord with readers everywhere, One French Summer will have them all cheering Katy on her brand new adventure in France.

The next best thing to a weekend away, Gillian Harvey’s delightful new novel One French Summer is impossible to resist.

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A pleasant trip to Bordeaux. I enjoyed the friendship and support that Katie's pals show her, and seeing her getting more and more confident. Some parts of the story were a little bit long and could have been more dynamic but the ending was very satisfying.

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I want to thank Netgalley and the author for gifting me the ebook.
I was able to find the audio version through my local library. Wow this book was just a miss for me. I didn't like the main female character at all. I honestly can't believe how rude she was to her friends to decided to cheer her up after her husband wanted a divorce and she was just incredibly rude and said that no one even asked her if she wanted to go to France! How selfish! She is self-centered and honestly why on earth would she want to be with a man like that. Her husband also was absolutely over the top mean. It was a bit unrealistic.
Let's not forget to throw in feminist bullcrap and lesbian love interest 60% through the book. Just a hard pass for me.

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This book was a very refreshing retreat to cheer up a friend having a hard time with her daughter in Australia and her husband asking for a relationship break.

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Katy's story of taking a chance and changing her life is so refreshing. Doing something new is always scary and the way the author uses the characters to embrace new things and see their lives in a new light is engaging. I enjoyed the story of friendship, love, and life lessons. A good read.

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To say I wanted more would be an understatement. This was a delicious page turner right from the start. Everytime I had to put it down, it was all I could think about. I did end up finishing way past my bedtime, just so I would be able to sleep. Five stars.

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Apologies for the delay in this review, i have been battling ill health.

Great story, lovely setting, enjoyed the charcters and the story very much. I thought it flowed really well and it was a really good read.

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. Lyndsey King
5.0 out of 5 stars
Sunshine, Surprises
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on 30 July 2023
What a wonderful holiday read. Gillian Harvey has certainly not disappointed her fans.. Life for Nicky has not had too many highs. Unknown to her, one phone call is all it takes to turn her life around. Ten years previously, her husband Steve, was in a fatal car accident. Left with two children to raise on her own, is daunting and hard work. She puts her life on hold whilst the girls were growing up. Jenny her best friend has supported her all the way through. Jenny , a TV executive rings Nicky for a huge favour. She needs someone to take over her designer for a TV programme about renovating properties Nicky agrees and shelll shocked when she was told she had to be in Provence, the following day.

What follows is a delicious book, made with some hilarious moments as well as a few sad bits. The characters were all true to life and you could not help nut adore them all. Nicky comes across at times, reserved. Her two girls and granddaughter are her life. Always putting their needs before her own. The sun shines on her as she goes to help renovate a B&B. The owner Robert, has a tale of his own to tell. Robert has become quite insular. Applying to be on this TV show would either make or break him. Such a quiet but gentle.

The ambience of Provence spills from the pages as we travel to France and watch the story unfold. Gillian Harvey has nailed it again. A definite five star read. Follow the TV show unfold. Thank you Gillian and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review this.
Thank you for your review.

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Gorgeous read with a beautiful setting in France. Kate is a superb character and deserves a second chance at happiness. Would recommended for a light summer read.

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Setting: yes. Protagonist: no. I fell in love with the French setting and thought that Harvey portrays it so beautifully that I could imagine myself at the artists’ retreat. On the other hand, I thought Katy was an insipid fool who could not see how much she was being played.

Katy is taken to France by her teacher friends during the August holidays. Having been on a trial separation from her husband of twenty years, Katy is reeling from the news that this trial separation is a permanent separation – and Will appears to have moved on. I sympathised with Katy because I could understand her fears about moving on from something she has spent two decades on but, on the other hand, thought that she was missing some really key signs that this was not a forever-marriage. Even Katy’s friends have spotted these from the outside of Katy’s bubble and, during what is supposed to be a relaxing night out, soon becomes fraught with confrontation. I applauded Katy’s friends for speaking their minds but wished that Katy could see the truth for herself.

Therefore, this novel is mostly about Katy accepting that life is not over and she can use this as an opportunity to be herself once more. Conversations with her daughter, currently in Australia, don’t do much for Katy’s self-esteem and I recognised how lonely this character was feeling. Yet, I do feel she constantly held herself back, not fully embracing this French break for what it could be. Eventually this does change, and I was relieved to see a different side to Katy’s character. Yet, one event makes things fall backwards and I was frustrated again by Katy’s behaviour.

I liked how Harvey reveals some of the truths in the latter half of the novel. Indeed, the final quarter of the book felt the most enjoyable as Katy has fully evolved into a more likeable character and there were some unexpected plot developments too. Unfortunately, I thought the rest of the book to be too predictable and echoes of similar stories I have read in the past.

If you are after a bit of escapism, this book will surely take you successfully to the French countryside. The retreat sounds incredibly relaxing, even if I don’t have any artistic bones in my body! I also enjoyed seeing how friendship underpins the narrative and I don’t think Katy realised herself how much she needed her friends and how lucky she was to have such a strong support network. They are a good bunch who recognised when Katy was struggling, hence the surprise trip to France.

Overall, this was a pleasant read but I found it quite underwhelming. Katy’s indecisiveness and inability to see the flaws of her marriage really grated on me, and I don’t think the story held enough surprises to keep me fully interested.

With thanks to Boldwood books and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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If only I could have a Year at the French Farmhouse right now, it would be the perfect escape to reality as has this book.

This is a book that has given me a warm hug in the form of a book. This is the escape I’ve needed and I’m honestly not ready for a return to reality.

Katy’s marriage has fallen apart and she needs her best friends. A key theme of this being friendship. I have loved it. This has been the perfect read to make you reflect on your own friends and who you are thankful for.

This has been an utter delight. I have loved the characters. Harvey has transported me to a gorgeous setting and I feel as though I’ve been uplifted.

Harvey is an extremely talented writer. I have been given a clear picture of this one and it’s been wonderful.

I’m so thankful I’ve been able to read this with my @squadpod2021
My very own army of supportive ladies. Thank you @gillplusfive and @bookandtonic for giving us this opportunity.


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I really love Gillian's books. It's total escapism and I love how she sets the scene. You can really connect with the characters and it's really enjoyable to see them grow throughout the book.

I really felt for Katy at the beginning of the story but I love how Katy comes to a realisation that she can do what she wants in her own life, she doesn't have to do what someone thinks is best for her.

She has great friends to take her away for a break and the perfect place. I love France, my mum and step dad have lived there for many years and I love the lifestyle and the slow steady speed of life away from the cities.

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I think it would be great if everyone could have good friends like Katy has, to be honest!

Katy is a woman of a certain age, whose child is on the other side of the world and whose husband suddenly announces that he wants a "break" from their marriage. This is code for "I really want out but I don't know how to tell you", which breaks her heart.

Sam, Vicky and Ivy take Katy to France where she rediscovers who she is.

A lovely summer read, this book. Nothing too deep but definitely makes you think, which is a good thing.

4 stars from me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Boldwood Books.

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Katy is facing a trial separation with her husband and at the same time, her daughter decided to stay and work in Australia leaving Kate as an empty nester. For 20 years Katy’s life are steady and predictable until her husband asked for separation. After 6 months of separation, Katy is sure that Will come to his sense and to reconcile. However, Will told her that he has found someone. Reeling from the news and depressed, her group of friends rally for her and whisked her off for a holiday in French for a 2 weeks painting holiday and it was there she rediscovers her true self.
This is a beautiful story of self discovery and lovely friendship with real tough decision make up the story plot.  I love that Katy finally brave enough to take the path towards her future instead of living her life through her husband and daughter. Overall it is an engaging and light hearted read to me.

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Thank you to Netgalley, the publishing house and the author for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of this book in return for a review based upon my honest opinion.

This is the first book I have read by this author but it definitely won't be the last. This was truly enjoyable read. Katy is optimistic when her husband, whom she is currently on a trial separation from, want to see her. Katy's life crumbles when she realizes that he doesn't want to get back together he wants to ge a divorce. Katy falls into depression and doesn't know what to do with herself when her best friends show up and take her on a surprise vacation to help her find herself and get back into the swing of things. They all go to France on a painting retreat and Katy rediscovers her love of painting and art. Katy and her friends have some rough times and bond closer than ever. But for Katy, this vacation trip helps her find the person she was before marriage and children, the person that she didn''t know she had even left behind. Such an enjoyablre read, with a great cast of characters and a lovely background.

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One French Summer was a joy to read during a cold and gloomy March. Swept up in the lives of heartbroken Katy and her supportive friends, Gillian Harvey effortlessly transported me to France and an idyllic art retreat. The characters were delightful and as Katy slowly began to understand all that was wrong with her life and set about putting it right, I became invested in her story, commiserating and cheering her on. Gentle and uplifting, One French Summer is a beautiful read.

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A sweet story with likeable characters set in France during the summer. A holiday away while the main character, Katy, is left reeling from her "trial" separation with her husband not being so trial, and her daughter moving away. Katy can either wallow, or use the time to find herself, and what will make her happy.

Thank you Netgalley and Boldwood Books for the ARC!

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Yay, I’m back in “la belle France” with another of Gillian Harvey’s books, and the setting is as stunning as ever, the characters believable and relevant for women of a certain age, and the whole story as highly entertaining and full of hope as always.
Katy’s life is pretty normal – at 49, she’s married with a grown-up daughter, and is going through the motions. Get up, work, cook, clean, got to bed. Thank heavens for her friends and their exercise group to break the routine, but when even that becomes part of the routine, you have to wonder what Katy is getting out of life. Is she happy? Has she ever asked herself that question?
When change is thrust upon by her husband leaving her for a younger woman, and her daughter taking up a job in Australia, Katy’s world crumbles. What does she have left without her family? She enjoys her job, but she’s not passionate about it. Cue an intervention by her friends who whisk her away to France.
Can they help her see that she is worthy of a happy life? Well, their holiday is not without friction – Katy is struggling to accept her new status quo, and her friends are treading on eggshells to not upset her further.
But two weeks in a beautiful French village, rediscovering her love of painting, enjoying great food… and meeting Valentin, the host’s brother seems to be having an effect.
Until her world is tipped upside down again. Will Katy go back to her former, dull but steady existence, or is she ready to take a chance on a new life? The answer will surprise you at first, but maybe the choice she makes is only the first step in finding herself and her own happy ever after.
Fabulous setting, great friendships, real conversations, and tough decisions make for a wonderfully immersive read.

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One French Summer by Gillian Harvey was a brilliant Book. I fell in love with all the characters and I just wanted to dive into the story and become apart of the book, just to pack my suitcase, jump on a plane and join them. It was a book that just took my breath away. It was beautifully written from start to finish with a beautiful brilliant ending.

This was a great quick read, perfect for a holiday read. I loved it and has become another favourite books so far this year, especially as its not my usual gene I read - I was surprised,

I highly recommend this book I loved it.

Big Thank you to NetGalley, Boldwood Books and the author Gillian Harvey for the opportunity to read and review this brilliant book.

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⭐️Rating: 3/5
✍🏼Author: Gillian Harvey
📖Genre: Chick-lit

My Thoughts::
This is a good book appropriate for women who can relate to the various stages of life. I appreciated the journey of self-discovery that Katy went through post-separation from her husband and think the author did a wonderful job being descriptive of the scene/characters. I think this was a beautiful read, the only reason I didnt rate it higher is because it was a little slow for me and didn't 100% move me the way I had hoped.

Thank you NetGalley and Boldwood for the ARC copy of this book in exchange for my review.

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