Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Summer of France: Review and Giveaway

J'étais excité!  I looked forward to reading The Summer of France by Paulita Kincer.  Although I've never traveled to France, I hope to someday.  The lovely, impressionistic cover of this book caught my eye, and the idea of starting my summertime reading with a book set in France during the summer was very appealing to me. 

Published in 2012, The Summer of France is the story of Fia Randolph and her family.  Unemployed and wanting to improve her life,  Fia moves from Ohio to Provence with her husband, Grayson, and their teenage twins, Kasey and West, to take over her uncle's bed and breakfast.  She goes to France with romantic notions, and pictures herself wearing long skirts and walking to the market for fresh baguettes.  She wants to help Uncle Martin, and wishes to have a wonderful summer with her family in Provence.  However, Uncle Martin's burdensome secret, the heavy workload of the bed and breakfast, and new family problems, conspire against Fia's vision of an idyllic summer in France.

The Summer of France is short (about 220 pages), and I read it quickly.  It's funny, light, and sexy.  It's what I'd call a fun book. 

The book is told in two perspectives, that of Fia and Uncle Martin.  Fia is the protagonist and her chapters are written in the first person, whereas Uncle Martin's are presented in the third person.  Some of the chapters are extremely short--just a couple of pages.  This isn't necessarily bad, but as the chapters do not always alternate, I wondered if some of the chapters could have been combined.  As far as content goes, some of it seemed implausible to me, such as the chase scenes, while other aspects were too hackneyed.  (For example, the idea that having extramarital affairs in France is the norm; maybe it is, but it just seemed a bit too clichéd.)  Furthermore, the book felt unfinished to me.  I had to check to see if I was reading an ARC (advance reading copy), or the finished product; it could have been more polished; it seemed more like a series of sketches, rather than a complete novel.  Lastly and perhaps most importantly, I did not connect deeply enough with any of the characters, not even the main character, Fia.

That being said, though, I enjoyed reading the book, largely because of the setting and the references to food and art.  I found The Summer of France entertaining, in spite of the issues I had with it.

France Book Tours is offering an international giveaway for an ebook of The Summer of France.

  • To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment.
  • For another chance at winning, become a follower of this blog, or let me know that you're already a follower.
  • For an additional chance, post about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

Enter by 5 PM PDT on Monday, July 8.  One winner will be selected randomly and announced on Tuesday, June 9.  Bonne chance!



Thanks to Emma from France Book Tours for sending me a copy of this novel.  For more reviews of this book, please visit the other stops on The Summer of France Book Tour.

Commentaires bienvenus.

27 comments:

  1. thanks for your honest review, with the positive and negative elements of the book

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  2. Thank you very much for stopping by!

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  3. This sounds like it could be a good read. I'd love to be entered. I've been a follower through GFC for awhile.

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    1. Yvonne, Hope you get a chance to read my novel. Thanks for tweeting about the giveaway too.

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  4. I also tweeted about the giveaway!

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  5. Sounds like a lovely summer read (kick up my feet in the garden with some iced tea!) I can't pass up any read with food and art :) So glad I chanced upon your post, which I reached through Yvonne's tweet btw! Thanks Yvonne!

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    1. Guiltless Readers, Sounds like a perfect way to read my book, either that or while sitting on a balcony overlooking the Mediterranean. You can find some other chances to enter the giveaway at WordsandPeace.com blog too. Good luck.

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    2. i think i'll go take a gander. thanks paulita!

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  6. I have been to France many times but just to Paris, never to the countryside. Book reminds me of the "Provence" stories.

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    1. Charleydog, I haven't heard of Provence stories, but I'll look it up. Hope you get a chance to read my book.

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  7. Great review and wonderfully frank. Alas not a read for me, I'm afraid the cover appeals to me more than the synopsis.

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  8. This sounds like a light summer read. I remember talking to a cousin of mine in Italy, who did tell me that extramarital affairs are the norm. He told me that nine out of ten of his friends have cheated on their girlfriends. That is why I would NEVER marry a European man!

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  9. I'd love to read this one because, like you, I'd love to visit France someday. And I love the cover.

    I am a follower.

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  10. Appreciate the honest review. No need to enter me, I already have a copy but I haven't read it yet.

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  11. Sounds like a fun summer read although you were not being able to connect with the characters.

    Don't enter me though as I am behind the times and don't read ebooks yet. With ebooks taking over, I may need to invest in a reader soon. My phone is too small for me to really want to read books on it.

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  12. I'm glad you enjoyed it despite the issues you had. I love any books to do with France. My bookclub is reading this one this coming month and I'm looking forward to it.

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    1. Darlene, I'll be interested to hear what you and your book club say about this book. :)

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  13. There is a lot of books about the way to spend a summer in France : always, always in Provence... and often with the same clichés !
    I hope you'll travel in France... in the real one !

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    1. Annie, I would love to visit France! Thank you for your comment.

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  14. Don't enter me as I have too many ebooks on my list, but I did like the sound of this book.

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  15. I absolutely loved this book! I could read it again and again! I am going to give this book as a gift. This book kept me on the edge of my seat and the descriptions and layout of the story made it very easy to place myself in the shoes of the character. Beautiful!

    Irene Jennings (Home Health Care Products)

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  16. Sometimes a bit more editing helps to coalesce an essentially good story into a great one. It does sound like a fun little read, though! Thanks for the review!

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  17. Thanks for the honest review Suko. The setting is one I do love.

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  18. Thanks for your review Suko. One of the great aspects of books is getting to know new places better without having been there.

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  19. thanks for the chance to read this novel.

    i'm a a follower, too :)

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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