02 December, 2015

Review: Bon Appetit (French Twist, Book 2) by Sandra Byrd





Pages: 304
Publisher: WaterBrook Press (September 16, 2008)
Language: English
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/Bon-Appetit-French-Twist-Book/dp/1400073286
Series: French Twist Book 2
Genre: Christian Fiction/Food
Sexual Content: -5/5



Blurb


Lexi Stuart is risking it all. Saying au revoir to the security of home, her job, and could-be boyfriend Dan, Lexi embarks on a culinary adventure in France to fulfill her life dream of becoming a pastry chef. 
As she settles into her new home in the village of Presque le Chateau to study and work in a local bakery, her twenty-something optimism meets resistance in the seemingly crusty nature of the people and culture around her. Determined to gain her footing, she finds a church, meets a new friend, and makes the acquaintance of a child named Celine–as well as Celine’s attractive, widowed father, Philippe. Even Patricia, the gruff pastry cook, shows a softer side as she mentors Lexi in the art of baking.
As Lexi lives her dream, the only thing she has to do is choose from the array in life’s patisserie display window: her familiar home, friends, and family in Seattle or her new life in France. Lexi discovers that as she leans more on God the choices become a little clearer– and making them, well, c’est la vie!

Review


This is book 2 of a 3-part French Twist series, and while I was just a little confused about this Lexi woman and her reason for being in France (or even why the story was written) it still wasn't all that confusing as a first-read.

This is a well-written novel, I must say, and written in first-person, but I managed to force my way through to the very end due to both curiosity as to its outcome, and the goal of picking up helpful hints about writing clues and style.

The ending turned out to be a cliffhanger.

First, the lovely cover is very deceptive (sadly), as there is no male/female romance.

None.

Yes, there were a few French cheek pecks here and there, even when her American 'friend' arrives for a visit, he kisses her the same way -- cheek/cheek.

This story is actually just a diary-entry compilation of Lexi's trip to Paris to work in a bakery and study the art of pastry making for a few months.

Nothing more; nothing less.

It is obvious that the author knows a thing or three about pastry and the work it entails, and that knowledge is evident throughout the novel.

I really wanted to quit reading this story, but I was of the mistaken opinion that this was a romance and that somewhere along the line things were going to change; the story was going to take off and start doing something.

It didn't though, and I'll need to read book 3 if I want to find out anything at all -- but, to be honest, after having read book 2, I highly doubt that anything romantic will occur in book 3 and that it will simply be more of the same first-person viewpoint/opinion on everything from brioche to the Bible.

Second, I should have been a bit more diligent when I chose to download this (free) novel and noticed underneath the rest of the 'info' or 'about' category of things that it said:

Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (277 customer reviews)
Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #858,536 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
#2184 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Literature & Fiction > Romance > Contemporary
#21680 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Religious & Inspirational
#22173 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Women's Fiction > Contemporary Women

The author is obviously a 'Christian' and there were too many references to it, the Bible, and church in this novel for my comfort level to tolerate.

Lexi loves God, of course, and apparently, He really loves her because He answers all of her prayers. And this, I'm afraid, is about all of the romance you're going to encounter in this novel.

We are led to believe that France has no soul and are a non-religious bunch who take their faith about as lightly as they do their driving.

Here are the latest statistics for that country with regard to Religion

The 2007 CIA World Factbook lists the religion of France as: Roman Catholic 83–88%, Protestant 2%, Jewish 1%, Muslim 5%–10%, unaffiliated 4%. In 2002 the CIA World Factbook stated that 88–92% of the French population was Catholic.

This story was written in 2008, so the statistics are actually quite accurate and fair.

So, France is an extremely religious country: just not from a Protestant (Christian) viewpoint.

Third, my first-person narrative view hasn't changed after having read this novel. I actually don't know any more about Lexi than I do about any of the people she'd met and befriended along the way.

I don't know squat about the two 'men' she was supposedly growing interested in, either.

There was ALMOST some intrigue when foul play started to occur at the school, but while we figured it out almost immediately, Lexi figured it out much later and then 'poof' problem solved and no more intrigue in the sabotage category of things.

Again, it was well written and gave me better insight into the 'mind' of a person who would like to become a better chef p√Ętissier, but that is all.

IF you enjoy Christian non-Romance and are excited to learn more about the p√Ętissier side of France in first-person viewpoint, then this is definitely your novel!


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