Source: the author
Paperback, 304 pgs.
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French Coast by Anita Hughes is gorgeous and not just because its set at Cote D’Azur and the Cannes Film Festival. Serena has come to France for the biggest opportunity of her journalistic career, even though her fiance Chase is set to announce their engagement and his bid for mayor of San Francisco. Serena is going to interview Yvette Renault, the former editor of French Vogue. Along the way, the life she expected is swept away from her and she has to contend with secrets she never saw coming. While she remains as focused on her work as she can, she finds herself befriending Zoe, who is on a trip of her own to uncover family secrets and save her parents.
“‘At least you know where your father is,’ Serena said, adding cream and sugar. ‘I haven’t heard from my parents in days. I keep expecting my father to call and say it was all a mistake.’
‘We’re the ones who are supposed to be falling in love with the wrong men and making our parents frantic,’ Zoe said as she tore apart an almond croissant.
‘Maybe we’re part of the wrong generation.’ Serena sipped her coffee. ‘We should have been young in the sixties.'” (pg. 155)
Serena and Zoe are like ships passing in the night, but it’s clear they have an instant friendship that will last, and despite drifting since coming to France, Serena has a purpose and dives into her work. Nick is a knight in shining armor of sorts, returning Serena’s lost wallet and phone, and eventually, they spend afternoons and evenings together talking about not only their work but their dreams. Don’t be fooled, however, because this is not a straight-forward romance novel. While there is romance for many of these characters, there is heartbreak and choices to be made about their careers and their futures.
French Coast by Anita Hughes is a delightful read for the summer months and beyond. Serena is a strong woman who is sure about her career, but little else at least until fate plays its hand. Hughes is a talent and her books are always delightful reads to pop in the beach bag or to read out on the deck or at the pool. This one has the right amount of mystery thrown in as well, making it even more engaging.
About the Author: (photo by Sheri Geoffreys)
Anita Hughes was born in Sydney, Australia and had a charmed childhood that included petting koala bears, riding the waves on Bondi Beach, and putting an occasional shrimp on the barbie. Her writing career began at the age of eight, when she won a national writing contest in THE AUSTRALIAN newspaper, and was named “One of Australia’s Next Best Writers.” (She still has the newspaper clipping.)
She received a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in Creative Writing from Bard College, and attended UC Berkeley’s Masters in Creative Writing program.