Dominique Marnyon Tour September 2 - October 8 with
In the Shade of the Almond Trees
Genre: historical fiction Release date: September 29, 2015 at Open Road Media 280 pages ISBN: 978-1480461178 Website | Goodreads
Source: This book was given to me by French Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
In the aftermath of World War I, a family estate hangs in the balance.
For generations, the Barthélemy family tended to the olive trees of Restanques, a sprawling property in Cotignac whose olive oil and almonds were as incredible as the countryside that produced them. But all that changed when war came to France. Robert Barthélemy never returned from the trenches, and without him, the farm is beginning to die. His widow has lost the will to live, and only the fierce efforts of their daughter, Jeanne, have kept the creditors at bay.
Jeanne is spending an afternoon at home with the family’s grim financial statements when a handsome stranger appears on the front steps. His name is Jérôme Guillaumin and he is a brilliant botanist about to embark on a journey around the globe. From the moment they meet, Jeanne is struck by feelings she never thought possible: feelings that could save her life or destroy everything she has ever known.
My Review: This novel is set in the aftermath of World War I. The Barthelemy family has been tending to the olive and almond trees of Restanques for generations. However, World War I has changed the life of the farm and the olive tree farm is dying. In order to pick up the pieces from World War I and to save her family farm, Jeanne must take control. The novel shows the hardships and trials of the farm that is struggling to survive.
While this story is filled with many characters, the central character in this story is Jeanne. Even though she has experienced many hardships and losses during the war, she must face another battle to save her farm. With her brother gone, she is left with the task of running it. Jeanne is an admirable and strong-willed character. She loves her farm for it gives her peace, happiness, and consolement. It is her love of the farm that gives her the strength to make it successful. She is smart and intelligent. She also makes practical decisions. I also found her to be very bold. She is a very hard worker and it is through her strength and will that she has managed to overcome her hardships and trials.
Overall, this story is about one woman’s strength and perseverance to survive. It is filled with loss, love, family, hope, and choices. The only character that I liked was Jeanne. I did not really care for the other characters because they were not really likable. Some of them were really selfish, like her brother. There was a lot of drama and unnecessary drawn out scenes happening with other side characters that I felt should be left out. Yet, I felt Jeanne’s journey to be very emotional, and I was rooting for her to triumph. I liked the author’s writing, and I thought the setting of Jeanne’s countryside farm was beautifully described. I recommend this to anyone interested in historical fiction, strong heroines, France, and the aftermath of World War I.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dominique Marny was raised in a family that loved art, literature, adventure, and travel. In addition to being a novelist, she is a playwright and screenwriter, and writes for various magazines. Follow Open Road Integrated Media on Facebook | Twitter Subscribe to Open Road's Newsletter
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