Books on ProvenceInspireKeith Van Sickle

Book Review: A Season of Surprises

Patricia Sands is at it again! The author of the popular Love in Provence series has just published a novella, A Season of Surprises at the Villa des Violettes.

Book Review

Readers are treated to a new chapter in the lives of our favorite Love in Provence characters—newlyweds Kat and Philippe, their wise neighbor Simone, Kat’s wacky friend Molly, and all the rest of the gang that we’ve come to love. Kat is opening a bed and breakfast at the Villa and preparations are frantic as the first customers are about to arrive. But then something goes terribly wrong…

Delphine, the colorfully-tattooed young lady with the mysterious past, suddenly goes missing. She has been known to disappear for a day or two but this time she doesn’t return at all. What could have happened?

As we learn more about Delphine’s life, we are introduced to the dark world of human trafficking. This is a bit of a departure for author Sands, and she runs the risk that exploring this modern plague will upset some readers. But she does so with knowledge and compassion and I think most readers will find that it adds a welcome depth to the story.

As always, Patricia Sands does a wonderful job of describing the sights and sounds and smells of the magical South of France. The day that Kat drives into the countryside to photograph brilliant golden mimosa flowers in bloom is an especially vivid example. And the trip that Kat and Philippe take to Corsica is a nice bonus, allowing readers to learn about yet another corner of France. As someone who lives part of the year in Provence, I can only tip my cap to Sands and her ability to share with her readers the people and places that make this corner of the world so special.

A Season of Surprises at the Villa des Violettes is a book about family, friendship and love. It’s a fun, quick read, perfect for yourself or the Provence-lover in your life. You can find it as a Kindle e-book at Amazon (click the book cover below to buy a copy).

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Keith Van Sickle

Keith Van Sickle

Keith and Val Van Sickle made their first trip to Provence decades ago, and it was love at first sight. After that, they came back every year until 2008, when they began a part-time life there, splitting their time between Provence and California.

Over the years, they’ve travelled all over Provence, seeing sights both well-known and obscure. Their French friends have introduced them to favourite restaurants and wineries and picnic spots and taught them funny local expressions (not all for polite company).

Keith now shares this local knowledge in his new book, An Insider’s Guide to Provence. Packed with the Van Sickles’ favourite things to see and do, it’s a must-have for anyone travelling to this glorious corner of France.

Keith previously published two books about the couple's experiences in Provence. One Sip at a Time: Learning to Live in Provence, and Are We French Yet?, both are available from Amazon.

You can see all of Keith’s blog posts at Life in Provence.

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