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Whispering in French: A Novel Paperback – August 1, 2017
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“Nash successfully cracks the code for women’s fiction by delivering a superbly written novel rich in unforgettable characters, a beautifully evoked setting, and graceful writing enlivened with equal measures of wry wit and poignant emotion [...] you have a literary tour de force.” (Booklist (starred review))
About the Author
Sophia Nash was born in Switzerland and raised in France and the United States, but says her heart resides in Regency England. Her ancestor, an infamous French admiral who traded epic cannon fire with the British Royal Navy, is surely turning in his grave.
Before pursuing her long-held dream of writing, Sophia was an award-winning television producer for a CBS affiliate, a congressional speechwriter, and a nonprofit CEO. She lives in the Washington, D.C., suburbs with her husband and two children.
Sophia's novels have won twelve national awards, including the prestigious RITA® Award, and two spots on Booklist's "Top Ten Romances of the Year."
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Kate was an interesting, if not captivating, character. Finding her life in disarray: marriage ended, discord between she and her daughter, this life coach and psychotherapist needs some coaching and regrouping of her own. Fond memories of childhood summers spent in the south of France with her grandfather present her the opportunity to work on his estate, deal with debts and repair issues, and find a quiet place to regroup and reconsider her own path. Off she heads to the now run-down villa, and finds that her memories from childhood are often missing the disarray and decaying reality.
With an ex-military man suffering from PTSD that she agrees to work with, the natives who view her in a guarded, if not quite overtly rude way, and her own need and desire to delve into family secrets as she decides her next turn, the story does bring a sense of second-chances and growth; it is, however, very slow to establish and often mired in the attempt to establish an ambience that is much like the summer in France: lazy, quietly deceptive in the depth that can be found should one look. I can’t say that I loved the book, but I didn’t ever want to just put it down and not return: there are moments that are glorious – but the passages to get there are slow-moving and filled with detours. If you are a reader who doesn’t mind a story that is slow to reveal and appreciate description and rather overloaded prose, this is the title for you.
I received an eARC copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Whispering in French was a quick, enjoyable read. Oddly, I liked the first two thirds of the novel better than the last 60 pages where the story became too easily resolved, sentimental, and somewhat predictable.
I would have given a four star rating if the story had continued as it did initially. Kate Hamilton is sent to southern France to convince her elderly grandfather to sell his crumbling ancestral home. His health is suffering and he is out of money for costly repairs, but he is determined to keep "Marthe Marie" in the family and continue the tradition of past generations. I loved Kate's interactions with the other characters. Her sharp wit was very appealing and comical. The fact that Kate was a therapist added a very interesting story-line as she befriended Major Edward Soames, a British military officer suffering with PTSD.
Additionally, the author's adoration for the locale is evident in her thoughtful and enticing descriptions of the scenery and region. There was a charming cast of secondary characters that gave the story a quaint appeal. The dialogue between the wildlife was puzzling, and although unnecessary, there were some endearing scenes between the hedgehog and cat that made me smile.
I thought Magdali's story could have been more developed and the Uncle's antics would have been better resolved at the end rather than in the middle of the book.
This book would be an excellent choice to take on vacation or to the beach. It provided a great escape from the demands of the day. 3 1/2 Stars.
In fact, she is not only divorced her teenage daughter refuses to talk to her and she is on her way to France to try to convince her ill and financially destitute grandfather to sell the family villa that has been in the family for centuries however is now in a state of disrepair.
Despite her original belief that this will be a quick activity and she can get back to the US and refocus on life... things don't go to plan...
Fond memories of a childhood spent in the south of France in summer help her find a quiet place to change her own path and channel what matters.
With an ex-military man suffering from PTSD, many villagers and colourful characters that feel real - the story really is one of second-chances and regrowth. If you don’t mind a story that is slow to reveal, with beautiful descriptive prose and detailed descriptions than 'Whispering in French' is a great choice.
I Was offered this book by Harper Collins in return for an honest review...