Never too late to love, love under French Skies. The title, cover and the premise of the book is highly alluring for anyone who is struggling to find love in life.
Fiona, an English woman, who can be called middle aged and boring at best is tired of her life. She is tired of her lecturing job, tired of being dumped by her husband, and just tired of the everyday routine of her life. She meets a bum on the tube who’s about to be her lucky charm. And then she inherits some estate in France. Grabbing the golden opportunity, she leaves her job, packs up her belongings and gets into a truck, ready to drive to the south of France. The bum gives her company and thus begins a beautiful lifetime relationship where she least expected.
The cottage she has inherited turns out to be completely uninhabitable. There is some Under the Tuscan Sun type stuff as she renovates the place and makes it shine, and gets to know the locals. She falls in love with a temperamental artist, and another man she met on the road falls in love with her. Apparently, if you are looking for admirers and besotted suitors, you need to drive from London to Marseilles!
Like any woman being courted by multiple people, she spends some time in confusion, wondering who she should choose. But that’s not the only problem she has in life. She unearths an ancient mystery and learns secrets about the aunt who left her the cottage. Shocking stuff that she finds hard to accept! She wants to start painting and discovers she is quite a good artist.
Love Under French Skies has a predictable story, at least for veteran readers. I could spot what was going to happen just after reading the first few pages. Some aspects like a lonely woman befriending a bedraggled stranger she meets on the subway are a bit peculiar. Some more local flavor would have been nice. The end is sweet but sad, and I don’t see the need for such an ending.