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The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  3,261 ratings  ·  469 reviews
“Every good love story has another love hiding within it.”
Brokenhearted and still mourning the loss of her husband, Heidi travels with Abbott, her obsessive-compulsive seven-year-old son, and Charlotte, her jaded sixteen-year-old niece, to the small village of Puyloubier in the south of France, where a crumbling stone house may be responsible for mending hearts since be
Paperback, 438 pages
Published March 29th 2011 by Bantam (first published 2011)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  3,261 ratings  ·  469 reviews

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Mar 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This novel has been compared to Eat, Pray, Love, a memoir that I absolutely hated. Thankfully for The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted, this novel was everything that Eat, Pray, Love wasn't. It had characters that I cared about and a plot that actually moved. By the end of the book I wasn't happy it was over; I was sad there weren't more pages to read.

Two years after her husbands tragic death, Heidi is still struggling to come to terms with it. Then, when her family's home in southern France
Jul 30, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
I know this book has gotten a lot of good reviews but it bordered on drivel. Part of that is because while I am the first to say that recovering from grief takes as long as it takes, you have to have some desire to stop wallowing in it, bathing it in, reveling in and defining yourself by it. And that's what Heidi does. Her husband was killed in a freak accident 2 years earlier. Her business (a pastry shop) is alive only because of her business partner. Her son has become extremely neurotic. And ...more
Dec 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book touched me in a deep and personal way. I have seen countless portrayals of love; most are simplistic. All of Bridget Asher's books manage to capture this elusive concept in staggering detail and complexity. With each passing book her storytelling skills increase and she is able to reach ever higher levels of truth.

In addition to love, her books give equal attention to loss and grief. Most, if not all, of this complexity comes from the melding, blending, and transforming power of these
Jun 30, 2011 rated it liked it
This book did not begin until page 130. Yes, that is right, you have to wade through that many pages for the story to really get its start, to become interesting. The first hundred pages deal with the depth of grief a widow has over her deceased husband and how every moment is consumed with thoughts of him and protecting their young child. The grief was overwhelming and strong and had me thinking that this was not the book that I wanted it to be. Finally, after page 100 or so our widow and her s ...more
Jan 29, 2011 rated it really liked it
Heidi is brokenhearted and lost after the death of her husband and soul mate Henry in an auto accident. Her mother "sends" her to renovate and repair the broken down family house in a small village in Provence, along with her 7 year-old obsessive-compulsive son and her teenage niece, also suffering some heartbreak of their own.

I will be reviewing this book in more detail for a Book Tour in March but I really enjoyed it. Well-written, good characters and a good blend of humor and sadness.

Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
I just have to finish what I start which is how I got the end of the book. This book is a great example of why first person narrative can be frustrating; Heidi has lost her beloved husband, Henry to a freak car accident...and Heidi's narrative meanders all over the place, illustrating how her life is out of focus since Henry's death...I just found it tiresome instead of feeling her grief. I was on page 70-something and considered giving it up...but I liked the character of Charlotte, the teen wi ...more
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It took me to well over half way through this book to forgive the author for making this a sappy romance instead of a book about Heidi going to France to put her mother's house and herself in order. It was in my humble opinion for too heavy on Heidi's grief which she obviously wanted to keep hold of instead of living. I thought the book was just okay and cannot say I would recommend it to anyone. ...more
Apr 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
3.5 stars...

Parts of this book I really liked, but it took a bit to get to them. The first almost third of the book drags a bit with details of Heidi's grief over her Husband, who has been dead for 2 years. She wallows in it, refusing to accept and move on. The story finally moves on and gets interesting once Heidi moves to Provence at her Mother's prodding and starts to see and feel a little again.
Lance Carlson
never rose above chicklit.......i shoulda checked reviews before reading. when women write romantic novels the men are always reduced to incredibly handsome, sensitive, always concerned about the women's needs and never theirs......should be in the fantasy genre.
ah...well......on to something better and slightly less ensconced in romantic fog
Apr 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: women-s-fiction
This was a book challenge read for me. I didn't think I'd care for this one, but I actually liked it, even though the romance was predictable and a little too sweet. The story was also slow to start. The set up seemed like it took forever, but I liked Heidi, the MC, and her son Abbott. The story was also a "feel-good" fluffy kind of book. Some of this had me laughing out loud and some of it had me rolling my eyes. But it fit perfectly into my day. So 3 stars.

Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: chick-lit
Very predictable, I found the characters unrealistic, unsympathetic and hard to follow at times.
Dec 10, 2013 rated it liked it
If you had asked me 50 pages in, I would have said this book is a waste of time and worth about 2 stars if you're feeling particularly generous that day. Now that I'm done reading it, I would give it more like 3.25 stars.

The plot is known: Heidi Buckley is still mourning the death of her husband who passed away in a car accident the year before. Heidi's 8 year old son Abbott, has become obsessive compulsive as a way to manage his own grief. Heidi's mom is heartbroken that the family summer home
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a good ole easy read which is good for a sunny day (or cloudy as we have in the Pacific Northwest) when you need to feel some love!!

This story is about Heidi who has recently lost her husband, Henry, and is now lost in a cloud of sadness and remembrances. Fortunately she has her son Abbott, who I am sure keeps her grounded. Heidi's mother and sister, seeing that she is in the rut that she is in, "force" her to go to the family home in France (you wouldn't even have to think about forcin
Apr 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I loved this novel. It's aimed at the heart, big-time. I teared up so many times reading it. I adored being back in France; Asher evokes that setting wonderfully, the food, the light, the French. She is especially spot-on in bringing to life the sweet and sad complexities of family life. Three thumbs up. ...more
Aug 14, 2011 rated it it was ok
Horrible, predictable, tedious- had to force myself to finish it. So much whining- it was hard to feel anything but impatience for the protagonist.
Jane Gregg
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Forget the title. This is a better book than what that indicates. I bypassed this book in the library for ages because the title simply made my teeth ache for sweetness. And yet the Provence bit continued to draw me to it. This is in fact not a sweet book. It is a rich book about grief, loss, restoration and hope. Things that we need to know more about. Also - quite, quite beautifully written. Recommended.
Rita Chapman
Apr 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
I should state that I read the abbreviated version of this in Reader's Digest so I may have missed some of Heidi's grieving which I can understand some readers have found tedious. However I can recommend the Reader's Digest version which features Provence, love and complex family situations. For me it was the fanciful tales surrounding the house which made the story. ...more
Julia Butz
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
A thoughtful story that puts you inside the head of a grieving widow as she tries to move on with life. A clean romance story, with well written descriptions and characters.
Rick Gerein
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sweet. Highlights the importance and strength of family
Nicola L
Apr 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
(This review also appears on

"..We were told the house could make love manifest. It was capable of performing miracles."

I have to say first of all that even though this book was well written it was actually even more depressing initially than I expected from the title! I wasn't expecting a wholly happy story, obviously- but this book was a bit of a slog to get through from the go and I did wonder if I should continue to persevere with it. I was having a fairly happy Friday- until I
Ricki Treleaven
Mar 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
This week I read The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted by Bridget Asher. I know many of you have emailed me about this book, wondering when I was going to read it. I finally got around to it, and I love it.

I want to warn you that if you have been grieving lately, the first 124 pages of the book might be a bit too intense because Heidi, the main character, is grieving over the death of her husband who died two years previously. They truly had a great marriage and loved each other very much. Som
Sep 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: general-fiction
What a wonderful story. Heidi is still mourning the tragic death of her adored husband Henry in a car crash two years before; she constantly thinks of him; she still weeps constantly over her loss. Heidi's seven-year-old son, Abbott, also has never stopped missing his father and has become an obsessive-compulsive over germs. Heidi’s sister and mother think that enough is enough and that it really is time for Heidi to start to live again. There is a house in Provence that has been in the family f ...more
Jan 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Does this book make everyone think of their own heartaches? their own losses in life? While reading this book I allowed myself to wallow in sef-pity for the exquisite and sharp pain of being abandoned and left with two children to raise, alone. To remember the hurt that they felt, that they still feel of being abandoned too. I've had that argument in my own mind, the one with Heidi and Julien (I love that name...a memory from my 19-year old self buying a Julien Clerc record on the Champs Elysees ...more
Regina Spiker
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A lovely little book that tugs on your heartstrings and pulls you into the characters and setting...

A young widow, Heidi, with a son, Abbott, can not move forward after her husband's tragic car accident. Her mother and sister thrust her into as what they describe as a "needed lost summer" at their homeplace in Provence, France in hopes that the magical stone house and countryside will bring her back to life. Heidi also takes her niece, misunderstood 16 year old Charlotte, along with her. The lov
Mar 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
If you can read this book and not be full of longing for Provence then there is something terribly the matter with you!

I savored every minute of this book. I allowed the ideas to soak into my heart and I really feel blessed to have been able to read it. The characters are delightful, unpredictable and beautiful. I truly felt like I was being taught how to write as I read. A wise author, Julianna Baggot, :), once told me that to create beautiful writing you have to blend the good with the bad; m
Holly (2 Kids and Tired)
Apr 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
I love the premise that a home or a place can have healing powers. Heidi's family home in Provence, France has always had the power to do just that. Heidi's mother escaped there one summer after a heartbreak and came back whole. Heidi's sister escaped to Provence with her boyfriend and came back engaged. When Heidi finds herself in Provence with her son and niece, she isn't so sure that the house will work its magic on her.

Bridget Asher captured a wonderful character in Heidi's voice. I could re
Jun 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Provence Cure for the Brokenhearted" by Bridget Asher was a book I really enjoyed. Most of the book is set in Provence, France which I loved. The main character, Heidi, owns a bakery called The Cake Shop. After her husband dies in an unexpected accident, her mother convinces her to take her young son and her sister's step-daughter to a house that her mother owns in Provence to oversee some remodelling. The house has a personality of it's own and Heidi has grown up with stories of love made r ...more
CoffeeTimeRomance andMore
Mar 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Bridget Archer has done it again. She has written a book that makes you look at your own life while immersing yourself in her character’s lives. The lure of two cultures connecting, of love and heartache becoming one, of healing and of joy is what The Provence Cure For the Brokenhearted is all about and more. A book worth sharing with friends.

Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

Full Review:
Diana Santoso
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: foodie-chicklit
Had a dreamy-like quality in it. Lots of fantasy and superstition, things like: 'the house will speak to you', 'the house will decide for you' etc. A bit like an absent-minded and dreamy person, IMO. The main character is too obsessed by her love to her husband. The child is a bit weird, I don't think I've ever met a child like that in real life so I don't think a child like that exists. Had a bit of food element in it though not much. I don't feel the chemistry between the main character with t ...more
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I felt like I went on a little vacation while reading this book. The setting was vivid. I felt I was in Provence - a place I have never been to and most likely never will be. That is the pleasure of well-written fiction. You get to live somewhere else for the duration of the read. The setting was essential to the story, and was, in a way, another character. This was a fun, fast read.
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Julianna Baggott
Bridget Asher & N.E. Bode

Borned on 30 September 1969, she teaches at Florida State University. She's married to David G.W. Scott and has four kids. Along with her husband, she is a co-founder of the nonprofit organization Kids in Need - Books in Deed., getting free books to underprivileged kids in Florida.

Today, she is a critically acclaimed and bestselling author, who wrote nov

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