Off the Wild Coast of Brittany tells the stories of two sisters who have come through an unconventional and rigorous upbringing. Natalie is renovating an old inn, and it’s not going according to plan. The inn and the island are charming and carry so much history. Perhaps that history can bring these sisters together. Then we travel to the past, to the woman who occupied the cottage the girls are renovating. Set in World War II, the secrets Natalie and Alex are discovering come to light. The opposing points of view and timelines tell a complete and utterly engaging story.
If there was anything I didn’t love, it was Blackwell’s focus on Natalie’s jaw. We know she’s stressed, so we didn’t need the constant reminder of it. But when I look past that minor thing, there is a lot to like in this book. I like both the present and the past stories. I loved Alex and how good she was for her sister. I’m also a big fan of historical fiction set in WWII, and I liked Violette’s story just as much. The island is captivating, and I loved its quirks and its history. Sometimes, small-town life is just the thing a person needs to move on. Overall, an incredibly enjoyable read. Thank you, Berkley Publishing, for sending this along!
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Off the Wild Coast of Brittany is available on Amazon for $9.99.
About the Book:
Natalie Morgen made a name for herself with a memoir about overcoming her harsh childhood after finding a new life in Paris. After falling in love with a classically trained chef, they moved together to his ancestral home, a tiny fishing village off the coast of Brittany.
But then Francois-Xavier breaks things off with her without warning, leaving her flat broke and in the middle of renovating the guesthouse they planned to open for business. Natalie’s already struggling when her sister, Alex, shows up unannounced. The sisters form an unlikely partnership to save the guesthouse, reluctantly admitting their secrets to each other as they begin to heal the scars of their shared past.
But the property harbors hidden stories of its own. During World War II, every man of fighting age on the island fled to England to join the Free French forces. The women and children were left on their own…until three hundred German troops took up residence, living side-by-side with the French women on the tiny island for the next several years.
When Natalie and Alex unearth an old cookbook in a hidden cupboard, they find handwritten recipes that reveal old secrets. With the help of locals, the Morgen sisters begin to unravel the relationship between Violette, a young islander whose family ran the guesthouse during WWII, and Rainier, a German military customs official with a devastating secret of his own.