Click here to read reviewer Karyn Johnson's take on The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted.
Itís been two years since Heidiís husband, Henry, died, and she still wakes up in the morning, unsure of how sheíll make it through the day. To make things worse, her young son, Abbott, seems to have developed a sort of obsessive-compulsive disorder since Henryís death. Heidi canít help but reminisce fondly about her familyís house in Provence, where she, her sister and her mother used to spend summers when she was young. But the trips to Provence stopped after one mysterious summer, when her mother left their family and went to Provence, returning at the end of the summer and never looking back.
When Heidi receives news that there has been a fire in the Provence house, she is saddened but doesnít dwell on it. Then her mother asks her to return to Provence and fix up the house, hoping that Heidi will find some healing in that place which they all love. At first, Heidi refuses, but slowly she begins to understand the appeal of the idea of dropping everything and taking Abbott to France. Whatís more, Heidiís sisterís stepdaughter, Charlotte, is going through some adolescent issues of her own, and only Heidi seems able to get through to her. When Charlotte decides to come along to Provence, Heidi knows that she has to go and face the ghosts of her past and try to come out the other side.
The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted is a novel of love and healing set against the beautiful backdrop of Provence in France. Heidi has been unable to come to terms with Henryís death even though itís been two years since the tragedy occurred. Itís understandable why she is in a rut. Trying to be strong for Abbott, especially because of his tics, Heidi has been unable to really process her feelings given her responsibilities. By leaving for Provence, dropping everything and escaping to a place that she has fond memories of, Heidi is finally able to take care of herself.
The secondary characters are developed with just as much care and love as Heidi is. Asher takes care with every single person who inhabits this book, making sure she fleshes them out fully and breathes a spark of life into them. As a result, this is a book full of quirky and endearing characters. Charlotte is a personal favorite of mine. Though at the beginning it seems like she was going through a typical teenage rebellion phase, it quickly becomes clear that there is much more to her than that. Asher makes certain that readers canít write off any of the characters in this book with a stereotype.
The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted is charming and sweet, full of wonderful characters and an amazing setting. Itís perfect escapist fare, great for a quiet and cozy afternoon when a reader wants to be transported to somewhere else entirely. Asher writes Provence with such loving detail, the reader feels surrounded by the quiet charm of France. Any womenís fiction fan shouldnít hesitate to pick this book up.