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We’re always tracking new book releases we think you’ll enjoy for independent or book club choices. This month, four intriguing new possibilities for your consideration.
Cherries from Chauvet’s Orchard: A Memoir of Provence
By Ruth Phillips
When an English painter moves to Provence in search of the muse he is looking not only for artistic fulfillment but also for love, family and community. This funny and touching memoir chronicles his unconventional route towards almost everything he desires whilst painting a vivid picture of how hard it can be for one man to face a blank canvas, even in paradise. ~Amazon.com
“In Cherries from Chauvet’s Orchard, cellist Ruth Phillips makes music with words, capturing on the page what her painter husband, JulianMerrow-Smith, does on canvas—a way of life that is achingly romantic yet not romanticized, that is earthbound yet exquisite, and one where sweat is rewarded with transcendence. As the couple struggles to build their home out of a farm ruin beneath the shadow of Mt. Ventoux and to make a living and life together, Julian must harness his muse. In a modern-day twist in this ancient place of luscious colors and cuisine, it is the worldwide web that changes their life. This is a true story of talent, ingenuity, and success against the odds, of pathos, passion, and humor. You won’t put it down.” ~DEAN KING, author of Skeletons on the Zahara and Unbound
To read more or to order, click here.
Madame Bovary’s Daughter
By Linda Howard
Picking up after the shattering end of Gustave Flaubert’s classic, Madame Bovary, this beguiling novel imagines an answer to the question: Whatever happened to Emma Bovary’s orphaned daughter?
One year after her mother’s suicide and just one day after her father’s brokenhearted demise, twelve-year-old Berthe Bovary is sent to live on her grandmother’s impoverished farm. Amid the beauty of the French countryside, Berthe models for the painter Jean-François Millet, but fate has more in store for her than a quiet life of simple pleasures. Berthe’s determination to rise above her mother’s scandalous past will take her from the dangerous cotton mills of Lille to a convent in Rouen to the wealth and glamour of nineteenth-century Paris. There, as an apprentice to famed fashion designer Charles Frederick Worth, Berthe is ushered into the high society of which she once only dreamed. But even as the praise for her couture gowns steadily rises, she still yearns for the one thing her mother never had: the love of someone she loves in return.
Brilliantly integrating one of classic literature’s fictional creations with real historical figures, Madame Bovary’s Daughter is an uncommon coming-of-age tale, a splendid excursion through the rags and the riches of French fashion, and a sweeping novel of poverty and wealth, passion and revenge. ~Amazon.com
“Skillfully continues Flaubert’s story…An entertaining romance for readers of historical fiction.”—Publishers Weekly
“Engrossing, vivid, beautifully written, adventurous, and often heart-rending—a young girl finds her way from the depths of poverty to the top of the nineteenth-century French fashion world, led by her wistful dreams of the lovely way life could be and by her gift for making those dreams a reality. I just loved this novel!”
—STEPHANIE COWELL, author of Claude and Camille: A Novel of Monet and Marrying Mozart
By Deborah Lawrenson
A modern gothic novel of love, secrets, and murder—set against the lush backdrop of the Luberon in Provence.
When Eve falls for the secretive, charming Dom in Switzerland, their whirlwind relationship leads them to Les Genévriers, an abandoned house set among the fragrant lavender fields of the South of France. Each enchanting day delivers happy discoveries: hidden chambers, secret vaults, a beautiful wrought-iron lantern. Deeply in love and surrounded by music, books, and the heady summer scents of the French countryside, Eve has never felt more alive.
But with autumn’s arrival the days begin to cool, and so, too, does Dom. Though Eve knows he bears the emotional scars of a failed marriage—one he refuses to talk about—his silence arouses suspicion and uncertainty. The more reticent Dom is to explain, the more Eve becomes obsessed with finding answers—and with unraveling the mystery of his absent, beautiful ex-wife, Rachel.
Eve does not know that Les Genévriers has been haunted before. Bénédicte Lincel, the house’s former owner, thrived as a young girl within the rich elements of the landscape: the violets hidden in the woodland, the warm wind through the almond trees. She knew the bitter taste of heartbreak and tragedy—long-buried family secrets and evil deeds that, once unearthed, will hold shocking and unexpected consequences for Eve.
“Deborah Lawrenson is a master of mood and shadow as she spins this absorbing tale of intense passion and growing dread. Her Provence is sumptuous and forbidding and utterly real. Prepare to be riveted.” (PAULA MC LAIN, author of The Paris Wife )
“I absolutely adored this beautifully written, modern Gothic novel, set in Provence, full of scents, colors and mystery. Reminiscent of Daphne du Maurier’s classic, Rebecca, The Lanternwill hook you in from the start and weave its dark, lush magic around you.” (TATIANA de ROSNEY, author of Sarah’s Key and A Secret Kept )
To read more or to order, click here.
Becoming Marie Antoinette: A Novel
By Juliet Grey
This enthralling confection of a novel, the first in a new trilogy, follows the transformation of a coddled Austrian archduchess into the reckless, powerful, beautiful queen Marie Antoinette….
Raised alongside her numerous brothers and sisters by the formidable empress of Austria, ten-year-old Maria Antonia knew that her idyllic existence would one day be sacrificed to her mother’s political ambitions. What she never anticipated was that the day in question would come so soon.
Before she can journey from sunlit picnics with her sisters in Vienna to the glitter, glamour, and gossip of Versailles, Antonia must change everything about herself in order to be accepted as dauphine of France and the wife of the awkward teenage boy who will one day be Louis XVI. Yet nothing can prepare her for the ingenuity and influence it will take to become queen.
Filled with smart history, treacherous rivalries, lavish clothes, and sparkling jewels, Becoming Marie Antoinette will utterly captivate fiction and history lovers alike. ~Amazon.com
“A thoroughly enjoyable novel, brimming with delightful details. Grey writes eloquently and with charming humor, bringing ‘Toinette’ vividly to life as she is schooled and groomed—molded, quite literally—for a future as Queen of France, an innocent pawn in a deadly political game.”
—SANDRA GULLAND, bestselling author of Mistress of the Sun and the Josephine Bonaparte trilogy
“In her richly imagined novel, Juliet Grey meticulously recreates the sumptuous court of France’s most tragic queen. Beautifully written, with attention paid to even the smallest detail,Becoming Marie Antoinette will leave readers wanting more!”
—MICHELLE MORAN, bestselling author of Madame Tussaud
To read more or to order, click here.
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