This is Freja’s Peachtree’s second adventure with crime writer Tobias Appleby and beloved dog Finnegan and after their wonderful adventures in Rome, they are now headed to Provence.
The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Provence can easily be read as a stand-alone book but just to provide background – Freja and her mother Clementine, have spent the majority of Freja’s childhood out in nature studying animals and her education while thorough, has been unorthodox. When Clementine falls ill Freja is sent to live with Tobias. However, Freja is unsure of his relationship to her mother and has started to wonder if he is more than just an old friend.
Meanwhile, Freja and Tobias have now relocated themselves to the very picturesque village of Claviers in Provence and they couldn’t be happier. Tobias is writing a crime novel based in Provence, so it is essential for him to be on the ground researching, but it gradually becomes clear that the real reason that they have moved is to follow the beautiful Vivi.
Vivi, who they first met in Rome is a pastry chef extraordinaire and has followed the famous Monsieur Diderot to learn his techniques.
The village is filled with wonderful characters such as King Pippin, the small boy who lives next door with his grandmother, ravenous Christophe who hopes to train as a priest when he grows up, Edith and Cosette the scary but kind twin daughters of Monsieur Diderot and many others.
However not all of the villagers are welcoming, and it isn’t long before they come up against the demanding famous TV star Mimosa, who often launches into a tantrum when she can’t have what she wants and Gerard Lachance who longs to romance Vivi but when he discovers her fondness for Tobias is consumed with jealousy.
Their perfect world and village are rocked by a few dramatic events but you’ll have to read the book to find out more.
The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Provence is an absolute delight to read, with lots of charming and quirky characters, detailed descriptions of French markets and patisseries and explorations of woods and nature. The mini world that author Katrina Nannestad has created for Freja and her friends is every child’s dream – a carousel ride and pastry every day, followed by a roam in the woods with friendly animals.
The book also looks at family dynamics, relationships, friendships and the way that communities come together in support of one another when needed.
8+ readers will love this book and so will parents – if you’re in need of something to fuel your daydreams about taking off for a sojourn in a small village in Provence, we can highly recommend sneaking your child’s copy away!
Katrina Nannestad is an award-winning Australian author. Her books include The Girl Who Brought Mischief, The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Rome, the Olive of Groves series, the Red Dirt Diaries series, the Lottie Perkins series and Bungaloo Creek.
Katrina grew up in country New South Wales in a neighbourhood stuffed full of happy children. Her adult years have been spent teaching, raising boys, perfecting her recipe for chocolate-chip bickies and pursuing her love of stories. She now lives near Bendigo with her family and an exuberant black whippet called Olive.