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When I finished reading The Promise of Provence, I felt like I had spent the past week in France with good friends. For anyone who has never been to that part of the world, get ready to see and feel it through the eyes of Katherine Price, the protagonist in this story.
At 55, Katherine's life abruptly changes and she doesn't see much hope for the future. After years in a controlling marriage that had seemed quite normal to her, her world slowly opens up. Two women, as different as can be, step in to offer support and friendship and continue to be key characters. Cousin Andrea, who is called the Goddess of Serendipity, and off-the-wall childhood friend, Molly, are key characters throughout the book.
Katherine now has time to spend with her aging mother. Rifts that had developed over time are healed and secrets from her mother's past in Hungary during WW2 are revealed. That's one of several compelling side stories in the book.
Convinced to sign up on a home exchange site, Katherine is surprised by the response and before long spends two weeks in a farmhouse in Provence. Her trip is filled with interesting characters and a wonderful Yellow Lab name Picasso.
Katherine returns home to Toronto with a new attitude and before long life takes more unexpected turns.
I'm not going to say anything more about the story as I don't want to give any spoilers. Patricia Sands writes in a way that makes you feel glad you were invited along for the adventure. It's a long book because a lot happens and I enjoyed every minute of the story.