Book Club Finds! Love Stories Inspired by Provence
Provence Love Stories
A budding romance, a Provencal setting and voila – a love story. The following list of books only begins to scratch the surface of the popular women’s fiction genre. However, these are authors we recommend as they write beautifully, inviting you into the lifestyle in the South of France with their prose. These books may be fiction, but these authors have “done their homework” with regards to historical facts, understanding local traditions and immersing themselves in the culture.
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The United Kingdom might be her home, but Provence is her muse. Aldous tells us that she started writing as a young girl, and began her first novel in her twenties. Karen Aldous lives on the edge of the North Downs in a Kent village, and the excitement of London is within easy reach. She values the experiences that travel and exploration can bring. Read more background on this author and her novels here.
Lizzie Lambert, and her estranged mother’s winemaking boyfriend and a family vineyard. “The Vineyard” is more than a recipe for Provencal wine.
Aldous’ second novel with Lizzie Lambert romance moves from the vines to the Côte d’Azur but is life just a little too perfect on “The Riviera“?
Memories of summers spent in southern France with her maternal grandparents inspired Sophie Claire’s first novel “Her Forget me Not Ex.” Perhaps it was those childhood summers, rose-tinted with nostalgia, that inspired Claire to write a contemporary romance in which florist Natasha’s French ex, Luc, asks her to come with him to France because his sick father has asked to meet her…the rest is in the book.
House sitting offered Jane Dunning and her husband an affordable opportunity to live in the South of France without the hassle of real estate investment. They were able to explore parts of the Var département and the Côte d’Azur from a home base in La Garde Freinet. Their experience also provided Jane with plenty of fodder for two novels, “Thirty-five Minutes from St Tropez” and “Stolen Summer: Sequel to Thirty-five minutes from St Tropez” that blend romance, fast cars, drama and the French Riviera.
Born in England to parents who worked in the diplomatic service, Deborah Lawrenson moved with them moving to China, Kuwait, Europe (Belgium and Luxembourg) and Singapore. Her educational path included English studies at Cambridge University after which Lawrenson worked as a journalist in London. Her books combine historical fact and romance into engaging tales. “Though the main characters and stories in my book are all fictional, their actions are underpinned by real events.” Discover more background on Lawrenson’s expat experiences in Provence here and here.
“The Lantern” is a novel about the histories all around us, whether in the run-down old house or the ghosts of Eve and Dom’s past that will not settle. Is their hamlet Les Genévriers haunted, or are these psychological manifestations of uncertainties they have both brought with them?
Romance, suspense, and World War II mystery are woven together in three novellas. “The Sea Garden” transports the readers from the Mediterranean to the lavender fields with plenty of drama along the way.
She still has vivid memories of Provence from her days as a backpacker in the late 1960s. Sands shared that she and a friend were travelling around on Eurail passes and meeting new friends as they camped and hiked the roads (and rails) of Provence and the Côte d’Azur. Years later, the region continues to captivate her attention, and feed her writer’s creativity.
Sand’s novel “Drawing Lessons” although based in Provence is a departure from her best-selling “Love in Provence” trilogy and its characters. Set between Toronto, Canada and Arles, France the book is a love story intertwined with a tragic turn of events. Click here for the “Drawing Lessons” book review.
The best thing about Patricia Sands “Love in Provence” three-part series, is that you can seamlessly turn the pages from one book to the next enjoying the characters more each time. These novels incorporate some of Sands’ favourite things about the lifestyle in Provence and on the Côte d’Azur. Her books are set in lovely seaside Antibes a place where Sands’ has spent lots of time. The scenes she “paints” with her words may be fiction but laced with a good dose of reality. Sands’ makes you think about friends, family and of course love in her novels.
You won’t want “The Promise of Provence” to end.
That problem issolved with the next book in the series “Promises to Keep.”
By book number three – “I Promise You This” readers are completely engrossed in the romance sparked in the pages of “The Promise of Provence.” However, what we found refreshing with this book is the main character’s self-reflection on the importance of friendship.