Hello, beautiful people! 👋🏽
In this month’s Marizé Reads I will be sharing what I read this March, and my April book recommendations! 🙌🏽
But, before we continue, I have the pleasure to invite you to join our newly created Goodreads group “The Marizé Reads“!🎉
By joining you’ll be able to easily keep track of all the books I’m reviewing and recommending every month AND participate in our forum chats.
Join the Goodreads fam right here!❤️
“The Beekeeper’s Promise” by Fiona Valpy
So, if you decided to follow and co-read my March book recommendations, you’ll know one of the books we were reading was The Beekeeper’s Promise. Overall, it was a beautiful story, however, I didn’t love the two point of views.
But, firstly, let’s have a bit of an overview, in case you are not familiar with the book. Here is a brief synopsis taken from Goodreads.
Heartbroken and hoping for a new start, Abi Howes takes a summer job in rural France at the Château Bellevue. The old château echoes with voices from the past, and soon Abi finds herself drawn to one remarkable woman’s story, a story that could change the course of her summer—and her life.
In 1938, Eliane Martin tends beehives in the garden of the beautiful Château Bellevue. In its shadow she meets Mathieu Dubosq and falls in love for the first time, daring to hope that a happy future awaits. But France’s eastern border is darkening under the clouds of war, and history has other plans for Eliane…
Overall rating ★★★☆☆
I did like this book and I enjoyed the descriptions of France and life under German invasion. However, I found the two point of views and the alternating between Abi and Eliane a bit confusing.
Having said that, I can see where the author was coming from, and I did like how, towards the end, she sort of “merged” the two heroines.
But, still, I couldn’t help but feel all the way throughout this book, that what happened was Eliane’s story did not quite fill in the pages required by the publisher, and therefore the author went back and added Abi’s chapters.
Perhaps, I’m wrong, and she meant to pass a message by mingling Abi’s and Eliane’s stories (that of resistance and strength), but I do wish there were two separate books instead of this; one for Abi, one for Eliane.
Also, I felt it would have been more beneficial to start with Abi for a few chapters and then, have Sara narrate Eliane’s story in a way that was more distinctive. I did not like how one chapter was Abi, then Eliane, then Abi, then Eliane and so on…
All in all, this is a good book, and I do recommend reading it. In fact, I was not aware there is a “prequel” if you may, that of Sara’s story -probably because I only found this book from Kindle store recommended reads. Thus, “The French for Always” is what I will be reading next (see below).
Honestly, I was not 100% in love with the author’s style of writing in this book, but I did like how she managed to paint the picture of the places and people she was talking about, and how she elicited feelings of joy, shock and sadness with her story. I was in proper tears at some points of the book!
This is why I’m hopeful that Sara’s story will be the same, if not a better, read.
You Might Also Like: What I Read This February (2021)
Monthly Book Recommendations
As I mentioned above, I quite enjoyed the Beekeeper’s Promise. That’s why, as soon as I found out Fiona Valpy had written yet more books on that story, I just had to read them! So, I’ve started reading “The French for Always“, which I have included in this month’s recommendations.
As always, feel free to join me in reading the books below, and do befriend me on Goodreads so we can exchange reviews and chat about our favourite authors! 📚
“The French for Always” by Fiona Valpy
Leaving the grey skies of home behind to transform a crumbling French Château into a boutique wedding venue is a huge leap of faith for Sara. She and fiancé Gavin sink their life savings into the beautiful Château Bellevue – set under blue skies and surrounded by vineyards in the heart of Bordeaux.
After months of hard work, the dream starts to become a reality – until Gavin walks out halfway through their first season. Overnight, Sara is left very much alone with the prospect of losing everything.
With her own heart breaking, Sara has five weddings before the end of the season to turn the business around and rescue her dreams. With the help of the locals and a little French courage, can she save Château Bellevue before the summer is over?
More books from this author:
“The Dreamers” by Karen Thompson Walker
In an isolated college town in the hills of Southern California, a freshman girl stumbles into her dorm room, falls asleep—and doesn’t wake up. She sleeps through the morning, into the evening. Her roommate, Mei, cannot rouse her. Neither can the paramedics who carry her away, nor the perplexed doctors at the hospital. Then a second girl falls asleep, and then another, and panic takes hold of the college and spreads to the town. As the number of cases multiplies, classes are canceled, and stores begin to run out of supplies. A quarantine is established. The National Guard is summoned.
Mei, an outsider in the cliquish hierarchy of dorm life, finds herself thrust together with an eccentric, idealistic classmate. Two visiting professors try to protect their newborn baby as the once-quiet streets descend into chaos. A father succumbs to the illness, leaving his daughters to fend for themselves. And at the hospital, a new life grows within a college girl, unbeknownst to her—even as she sleeps. A psychiatrist, summoned from Los Angeles, attempts to make sense of the illness as it spreads through the town. Those infected are displaying unusual levels of brain activity, more than has ever been recorded. They are dreaming heightened dreams—but of what?
“Everything I Know About Love” by Dolly Alderton
When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming an adult, journalist and former Sunday Times columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, finding a job, getting drunk, getting dumped, realizing that Ivan from the corner shop might just be the only reliable man in her life, and that absolutely no one can ever compare to her best girlfriends. Everything I Know About Love is about bad dates, good friends and—above all else— realizing that you are enough.
Glittering with wit and insight, heart and humor, Dolly Alderton’s unforgettable debut weaves together personal stories, satirical observations, a series of lists, recipes, and other vignettes that will strike a chord of recognition with women of every age—making you want to pick up the phone and tell your best friends all about it. Like Bridget Jones’ Diary but all true, Everything I Know About Love is about the struggles of early adulthood in all its terrifying and hopeful uncertainty.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! What books did YOU read this month? ? ? 🤓
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