The Little French Guesthouse, by Helen Pollard

1 Jun
little french guesthouse helen pollard

Five of Five stars

Five stars for being a good chicklit story that doesn’t touch on themes that usually grate my nerves. Instead we are introduced to likable characters and realistic situations, with a strong (though not invincible) female lead.

Emmy catches her long-term boyfriend cheating on her on the first page, while they’re vacationing at a little French guesthouse. After Nathan leaves with his new floozy, the guesthouse manager suffers an injury and Emmy decides to stay on to help with the guesthouse duties. During her time there she learns to love the French countryside and the small town people who reside there, while also trying to make sense of her broken relationship. As she realizes how happy this different life makes her, she wonders if she should give up the entirety of her old life to stay on in France.

This is not a new plot, but it is done in a different way. The choices Emmy must make are not clear cut. There’s no question that she’s better off without Nathan, but her job is another story. She enjoys her career and is good at it. Giving it up would mean giving up security and all the years she has put in. Though it’s not a perfect situation, it’s not the usual “She has an awful job anyway so there’s nothing stopping her” that you usually see in this case. And Emmy is so realistic and logical about her decision making that it’s definitely not certain how this story will end.

Second, while Emmy seems to have no shortage of desirable suitors, from casual to serious, there is never any question that she will make this major life decision based on someone she’s maybe spent 24 hours total with. There is some romance in this story, but the story is not a romance. It’s a semi-realistic story about a time when a woman has reached a crossroads in her life. And this woman is not going to give everything up for someone with whom she maybe, one day, might fall in love.

If I wanted to be really nitpicky, I could take a few points off here and there, but it’s a light chicklit story, and there are no grievous errors. Nathan is a bit one dimensional, and so is Gloria, but they are the bad guys in the story and not a lot of time is spent on them. Would packing up and moving from England to France really be as easy as Rupert makes it sound? Most likely not, but we don’t need those complications in this story, Emmy is taking enough things seriously.

Just before I began reading it I heard there is a sequel to be released soon. I would definitely read it, just to revisit all these lovable characters again. If you’re looking for some light summer beach reading, this is definitely a book for you.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for allowing me an early copy in exchange for an honest review. This book really is delightful.

4 Responses to “The Little French Guesthouse, by Helen Pollard”

  1. Helen Pollard June 1, 2016 at 8:31 am #

    Thank you for reviewing – so glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  2. Donna June 1, 2016 at 5:47 pm #

    I was not expecting to love this story so much. It’s my May book crush. I agree with everything you said. I did not talk about the plot itself in my review because I was too busy being happy about the way Helen Pollard described France and its magic, but that’s the French in me, I could not help it. I really appreciated that Emmie’s world did not revolve solely around her love life and that her job and her situation as a whole was the subject of her worries. Fab review!

    • Cynthia June 1, 2016 at 5:53 pm #

      Thank you, Donna! I always appreciate when there’s a strong female lead whose entire life isn’t based on finding a man. High marks just for that!

    • Helen Pollard June 2, 2016 at 7:53 am #

      Thank you, Donna. It’s lovely to know what you liked about it 🙂

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