Celebrations at the Chateau – Jo Thomas

Published By: Transworld Publishers
Pages: 364
Released On: 28/10/2021

When their grandfather dies, Fliss and her sisters are astonished to inherit a French chateau! Travelling to Normandy to visit the beautiful, if faded house, they excitedly make plans over delicious crepes and local cider in the town nearby. But they soon discover the chateau needs major work, a huge tax bill is due…and there is a sitting tenant to whom they owe a monthly allowance.

Unable to sell bit strapped for cash, Fliss determines to spruce up the elegant old rooms and open a B&B. But, why is Jacques, the local mayor, so hostile? How did Fliss’s grandfather come to own the place anyway? And will Jacques and Fliss be able to put their differences aside to save the chateau?

*****

Thanks to Transworld Publishers for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

I really liked the main character Fliss – I felt I could identify a lot of myself with her. Then Charlotte and her grandson Jacques enter the picture, and they are also really interesting and likeable characters. However, I found the two other sisters, Lizzie and Nellie, a bit hard going and I they just got under my skin.

I’ve never wanted to move abroad (as much as I like France), but I’ve always liked the idea of renovating a derelict castle to its former glory, so the general plot point was very warming and comforting to me.

The ironic thing is a lot of the story revolves around an apple orchard and cider making, and I’m allergic to apples, but the writing is so evocative, I could remember the juicy fruit I used to love eating.

When a book is marketed as a festive book, I do like it to be Christmassy right from the off, and this doesn’t get festive until over half way, which would normally sadden me, but the rest of the story is so well written and is just as magical, that I’m willing to allow it…just this once.

As expected with this type of book, it has such a happy ending, not necessarily in all the ways you expect, and it envelops you in such a warming hug.

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