Cover Image: One French Summer

One French Summer

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

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.
Was this review helpful?
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.

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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!
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
⭐️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.
Was this review helpful?
One French Summer is an enjoyable book, well-written with likeable characters.  The book also offers a delightful escape to the warm French summer - particularly helpful on a cold, rainy winter's day.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I would like to thank the author, the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of this book. I really enjoyed this book it was so well written with great characters and a believable story line, I will be recommending it to my friends.
Was this review helpful?
Katy and her husband were on a trial separation. She always expected it to be just temporary, so she spend the last few months bettering herself and waiting for him. So when he calls to meet up, she is sure that they are getting back together, but the opposite happens. At about the same time she gets a call from her daughter who was travelling that she got a job and is staying on the other side of the world, in Australia. 

In a very short time life as she knew it disappears. She is not taking it well, but her friends, who have been there through it all have a plan. They take her to France on a holiday.

It's an opportunity to spend time together, for Katy to find herself, separate from her husband and to have a fresh tart. 

But it ends up being so much more for her.

I loved reading the book! It's a story of self-discovery, of love of true friendship mixed with humour.

My favourite part of the book was the friend group. They were very supportive, there for Kary no matter what and their banter was always funny. :) 

Highly recommend it!
Was this review helpful?
Really enjoyed this and finding out about how Katy was trying to turn her life around after her husband left her for another woman. 
Her friends who are all school teachers decide to take her away for 2 weeks to an art escape holiday. 
Katy likes to imagine what life would be like in another country like France and doing what she wants but a cog gets thrown into this and she then has to decide if going home is the correct thing to do. 
I really hope Katy gets her happy ever after. This was a book.i really enjoyed.
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed this book, its easy to follow with a very light feel to it, even though it does touch on growing older and life changing events. I feel there could be the next chapter waiting to be written. 
Gillian Harvey is a new author to me, but feels very much like the other amazing Boldwood authors. 
We meet Kathy the main character in the story who has 3 very good friends in Ivy, Sam and Vicky, who whisk her away to France when her life continues to nosedive and she needs a level of intervention. There's a cute cat called BonBon, I mean what a fabulous name. 
The short notice trip is a painting retreat, run by Cecile a French artist, Marat her son supports her with taking care of the guests. 
Reading this made me crave sea air and sunshine in a remote area. Kathy meets the lovely Valentin with whom she has an inexplicable connection, is it enough for her to stay in France when her ex decides to remotely rekindle their marriage? It's a tough decision, a new beginning or back to the comfy old slippers? A recommended read,
Was this review helpful?
I loved this book so much, the second chance romance trope isn't always my thing, but this one totally stole my heart.
The setting was perfect and narrative makes you are there with Katy and her friends. I won't say to much because I don't want to spoil the conclusion of this beautiful book. However what I will say is you love this genre/trope than this book is perfect and I need a sequel.
Was this review helpful?
Last year I read A Year at the French Farmhouse by Gillian Harvey and I knew that I wanted to read more from her.  And now, having read her new release, One French Summer,  I was not disappointed.

Katy is in denial. She has been separated from her husband Will for months. Whilst her friends know, her 19 year old daughter Adrienne, who is currently living in Australia, doesn't. When Will announces that he needs to talk to her, she knows that he is going to say the temporary separation is over and he's coming back to her. Unfortunately, he does say the separation is no longer temporary - he wants a divorce. And Katy is devastated.

This is where her long time friends Ivy, Sam and Vicky step in and stage an intervention. They arrive at her house and basically order her to pack some essentials as they are going to France. With nowhere near enough clothes, she finds out that they are going to an art retreat near Bordeaux. Katy used to love art but it was one of the many things that went by the wayside when she was busy being Will's wife and Adrienne's mother. Now her friends are trying to show her that art isn't the only part of her that's she has lost along the way.

The house they are staying in is a gorgeous house, owned by a glamorous artist, complete with pool, amazing food and fantastic locations nearby. Oh, and the owner's handsome brother Valentin has come to stay as well. Can he help Katy see herself differently?

I really enjoyed the dynamics between the four friends. Whilst this is Katy's story, each of them was dealing with their own issues such as impending menopause and loneliness. They had their moments where they were grumpy with each other and where they needed their own space, but they were reallyy there for Katy and for each other.

If there is one flaw in this book it is that Will is a bit one dimensional at times. Then again, I have known some people who were pretty much like him!

I really want to say how much I liked the ending of this book, but it is pretty hard to talk about an ending without spoilers so I am going to be somewhat vague. I really loved that the ending of this book was, for want of a better word, sensible. The decisions made reflected maturity and what would be more realistic decisions than you might otherwise read in a book like this. 

The author lives in France, and both of the books that I have read by her clearly show how much she loves it. That love is evident in the descriptions of the places and the food. Having just spent some time in a different part of France ourselves this year, I have to say that the description of the food had me reminiscing over one place we stayed in the Loire Valley which was a beautiful home that had several rooms for people to stay in, and had the most amazing breakfasts. Whilst I wouldn't go to an art retreat because I can't draw a straight line to save myself, the idea of spending a couple of weeks or maybe longer sounds really tempting. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this, and will definitely be reading whatever Gillian Harvey writes next!
Was this review helpful?
It is rather gloomy out on this February afternoon where I live. How nice it has been to escape to a story that is set in the warm and sunny days of summer. Plus, the novel takes place in France, one of my favorite countries.

Here is a book that will be enjoyed by fans of women’s fiction. Readers meet Katy, who may just be at a crossroads in her life. There have been changes at home and Katy is feeling them. What will happen when she spends some time away with her close friends? What will be awakened in her? How will her life change as a result? Find out in this delightful novel. It is a warm, lovely book and one filled with characters about whom readers will care.

Thanks again to Rachel’s Random Reads, NetGalley and the publisher for this opportunity.
Was this review helpful?
Empty nest ….empty home. 
Her husband and daughter have left to roam. 
So watch her friends intervene 
Taking her off to a new scene!

Going to France to a retreat
With activities and food, delightful and neat.
Will it help her find herself once more
Or will everyone's advice she sadly ignore?

With potential new starts in everything
Dare she take the chances on what they could bring?
Could the bad things that happened in her past
Prove to be beneficial at last?

With family drama and strong friendships, too,
This is a story of friends helping you find what to do.
They're there to support, help and guide now
To help her through everything somehow.

An inspirational read that helps to show
That events can be beneficial in the end you know.
For my complementary copy, I say thank you,
As I share with you this, my honest review.
Was this review helpful?