Patricia Sandson Tour October 2-13 with
Drawing Lessons(women’s fiction) Release date: October 1, 2017 at Lake Union Publishing ISBN: 978-1542045872 352 pages Author’s page | Goodreads
SYNOPSISThe author of the Love in Provence series returns to the South of France with a poignant portrait of a woman who must learn how to create a new life for herself… Sixty-two-year-old Arianna arrives in the South of France for a two-week artists’ workshop full of anticipation but burdened by guilt. Back home in Toronto, she has been living with the devastating diagnosis of her husband’s dementia and the heartbreak of watching the man she has loved for decades slip away before her eyes. What does her future hold without Ben? Before her is a blank canvas. Encouraged by her family to take some time for herself, she has traveled to Arles to set up her easel in the same fields of poppies and sunflowers that inspired Van Gogh. Gradually, she rediscovers the inner artist she abandoned long ago. Drawing strength from the warm companionship and gentle wisdom of her fellow artists at the retreat—as well as the vitality of guest lecturer Jacques de Villeneuve, an artist and a cowboy—Arianna searches her heart for permission to embrace the life in front of her and, like the sunflowers, once again face the light.
There was a buzz of agreement as they all looked around to note their surroundings. Bertram pointed to a nearby bar and said he would be waiting there. “Time for a nightcap.”
Juliette turned to Arianna. “Do you mind if I hug you?”
Arianna smiled, and before she could say anything, Juliette had her arms around her. “I have adopted the hug from my non-French friends. There are times when it is the only thing that feels right.”
Her eyes teary, Arianna thanked Juliette for encouraging her to let down her barriers. Then she repeated the Buddhist quote, saying, “Thank you for the gift of those words. I will work on that.”
As others meandered away, Arianna and the Mitchells strolled off together. “Join us for the best ice cream in town,” John said in an attempt to entice her.
“Seriously,” Joan muttered, rolling her eyes, “he has built-in radar for it.”
“We just finished eating an enormous meal,” Arianna protested with a laugh.
“So? Ice cream is a completely different matter. We all have separate ice cream compartments in our bodies. Don’t worry! You’ll see I’m right.” John chuckled heartily as Joan nodded at Arianna and smirked. Arianna couldn’t help but laugh too.
The streets were crowded now, with late-night diners walking off their rich meals, concertgoers heading to the Place du Forum for a nightcap or, like them, a visit to the glacier.
“You weren’t joking,” Arianna said to Joan as her husband soon had them joining a long line at a busy glacier artisanal on the far side of the square.
Giving her a knowing look, Joan nodded her head and pointed to the long list of ice cream and sorbet choices. “We were here Saturday afternoon. Never tasted better—”
John interrupted, a rapturous expression on his face. “In fact, we came back again that evening too. This is the work of a true master, a gold-medal winner in any competition. The classic flavors are divine, and the original creations even more sublime—lavande, figue, rose, violette, cassis, passion . . .”
With a theatrical pause, he cleared his throat before ending in a dramatically dulcet tone, “Et la spécialité de la maison—caramel au beurre salé!”
Joan laughed, fanning her face with her fingers. “Oh là là! There’s almost nothing sexier than Johnny reciting ice cream choices in French.”
He grinned with exaggerated false modesty. “It’s my best French. No question.” He lowered his voice a few octaves and growled, his eyes blazing with melodramatic sexual desire. “Joanie, mon amour, mon coeur. I’m saving a few for our boudoir, to whisper in your ear.”
Joan’s laughter ended with a loud snort, and they all cracked up. “That might have broken the spell,” she sputtered.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, but her heart’s other home is the South of France. An avid traveler, she spends part of each year on the Côte d’Azur and occasionally leads groups of women on tours of the Riviera and Provence. Her award-winning 2010 debut novel, The Bridge Club, is a book-group favorite, and The Promise of Provence, which launched her three-part Love in Provence series (followed by Promises to Keep and I Promise You This), was a finalist for a 2013 USA Best Book Award and a 2014 National Indie Excellence Award, was an Amazon Hot New Release in April 2013, and was a 2015 nominee for a #RBRT Golden Rose award in the category of romance. Sands also contributes to such Francophile websites as The Good Life France and Perfectly Provence, and she appears as a public speaker for women’s groups. Find Patricia on Facebook, on Twitter on Instagram at her Amazon Author Page or her website Subscribe to her mailing list and get information about new releases. Buy the book on Amazon.com
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Drawing Lessons is my first introduction to Patricia Sands' writing. What a great story! She does a fabulous job keeping my interest throughout. She is such a talented author knowing how to play with the reader's emotions. I could just feel Arianna's anxiety, grief, and heart ache. I love that the book does not deal with a younger character but with an older woman in her 60s. A woman who has lived a wonderful life with the love of her life. However, she learned she still needs new experiences to get through her breaking heart. What's a better way to do that than traveling to the French countryside? Again, the author's talent shows through with her vivid descriptions showing the beauty of the area. I felt like I was right there with Arianna.
Drawing Lessons is not a light read by no means. It deals with some heavy issues. It is so well written and has become one of my favorites of the year. I want to read more from Patricia Sands in the future. Most definitely a must read.
I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.
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