Thursday, September 10, 2015

Book review of Last Chance in the Pyrenees by Julia Stagg


French Village Diaries book review Last Chance in the Pyrenees Julia Stagg
Last Chance in the Pyrenees
My review today is for Last Chance in the Pyrenees the final novel in the Fogas Chronicles by Julia Stagg that is released in paperback today. This is a book I was both desperate to read and sad to finish, knowing that once I’d finished it, a great series would be over forever. Although this book could be enjoyed without having read the previous books I would encourage you to start from the beginning with L'Auberge and get to know the characters and their quirky mountain village life.

Life in the small mountain commune of Fogas is never straightforward and this book is no exception as we are launched straight into jaw dropping action that both unites two old pals and leaves the community reeling. The village and their way of life are in danger of changing (or being lost) forever and the residents must work together to save it. However, this is easier said then done, as their personal lives seem to be getting in the way. Paul and Lorna at the auberge are busier than ever before, Josette is distracted by her own mystery at the bar, Veronique the postmistress finds herself lost in a dark place and deputy Maire Pascal makes some dangerous decisions. Life very quickly becomes a matter of power. Who has it, who wants it and how best to use it. Being the Maire of a small French village is no easy task.

There is a good mix of baddies, goodies, plot twists, romance and humour in this book that perfectly portrays the best and worst rural French life has to offer. Julia is a great storyteller who builds events up gradually, slipping in hints that raised my hopes before crushing them yet again when something took a turn for the worse. I was an emotional wreck by the time I reached the end; I had cried, screamed, laughed, drunk way too much coffee and cried some more.

Just like the other novels in the series it was easy to feel a part of this community where the characters are now as familiar as friends and neighbours. My nerves were on edge throughout the book as I was willing things to go the way I wanted them to go, but did I get the fairytale happy ending I so desperately wanted? You’ll have to read the book to find out. I'm going to miss my annual visit to Fogas, but at least I can re-read them any time I choose.

Last Chance in the Pyrenees is published by Hodder and Stoughton and is available in paperback and ebook format. Links to Amazon for all of the novels in the Fogas Chronicles can be found below. 

My reviews of the previous books in the series can be found here: