A gorgeous and bittersweet romance set in the South of France, about an old passion rekindled and the choice between family loyalty and a great love.
Flora and Hugo are devoted to their children, but when their girls leave home for university, their lives seem empty. Hugo is cold and distant, leaving Flora unsure what their future holds. When they are invited to a friend’s villa in the South of France, Flora hopes the summer sun and gorgeous setting may bring them closer together. In a crumbling, picturesque villa in the luscious French countryside, they are introduced to Susie, Matt and their friends. Flora is surprised to meet Xavier, her old flame, who she fell in love with one long lost summer when she was eighteen. They parted suddenly all those years ago, leaving Flora wondering, what if…
Handsome, passionate, sensitive, Xavier is so different from her reliable, predictable Hugo. Both Flora and Xavier have moved on with their lives, but is there something that still lingers between them? Or will Flora’s devotion to her children, and her loyalty to Hugo, show her where her true heart lies…
I received a copy of this book from Aria via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
A thoughtful story of first love, mature love after children have flown the nest and friendship all in a vividly described South of France setting.
Flora and Hugo are trying to find what life means for them, now their daughters have left the family home. Flora is determined to power through her sense of loss, but Hugo is uncommunicative, distant and lost. When they are invited to stay in France by old friends, Flora sees it as a new opportunity for them as a couple but Hugo it seems has other plans.
I like Flora and the cast of friends and new acquaintances, that gather at the villa. Hugo is harder to like, his attitude towards Flora grates, and his actions are selfish. However, like all the characters he realistic, and his behaviour is the necessary excuse for Flora to question her long marriage’s future validity when she meets her first love unexpectedly.
The story flows well and keeps its secrets until the end. Although the ending is not unexpected and may disappoint some, it is realistic and fitting. A gentle story that contrasts first and mature love.
Minna has had an exciting career in fashion journalism and now writes full time, whilst enjoying time with her grandsons and working as an occasional film and TV extra. She lives in London.