A Year in the Château by Sarah Long @Tr4cyF3nt0n @ZaffreBooks #CompulsiveReads #BlogTour #ContemporaryFiction #NetGalley

Firstly I wish to thank Tracy Fenton of Compulsive Readers for inviting me on the Blog Tour for A Year in the Chateau by Sarah Long.


The new sharp, irreverent and hilarious book from Sarah Long. If you love Dawn French, Sue Townsend and Veronica Henry, this book is for you!

When Nicola’s husband, Dominic, retires they decide not to spend their days finding hobbies to fill the time until Countdown is on. Instead, they fulfil their life-long fantasy of buying a country house and filling it with their dearest friends. Reliving their youth and spending their children’s inheritance.

Joined by seven of their friends they club together to invest in a château in Normandy. Group dinners, fine wine, beautiful scenery – they’re living the dream!

But la vie en rose is harder than it first appears. Is there a reason why only teenagers take gap years?


A Year in the Château: Perfect for fans of Fanny Blake, Katie Fforde and Dawn French


It all begins with Nicola and Dominic when they take the plunge to retire with a life plan rather than waiting around passing days and just getting old. They are both still very much full of life. They live in a rather influential area just outside London with their two grown-up children who have no intention of moving out and moving on. I mean why would they, they live rent-free with mum doing everything for them. Time to grow up kids.

Nicola and Dominic come up with a plan to ask their close friends if they would like to buy a property together with separate living areas for each couple and a single friend, with shared communal areas where they can enjoy each others company. They are all pretty well off so when they can’t find just the right place in Britain, they look over the Channel in Normandy. The rose-coloured spectacles come out and they buy with their hearts, not common sense, a chateau which an old lady owned and passed on like a hot potato.

The nine friends soon became fixed firmly in my mind as they faced the reality of the true cost to make the place liveable. The plans of grandeur having to take second place to leaking roofs and plumbing issues. Sarah Long’s writing conjuring images of the views from the house and the transformations that were taking place not just with the chateau but with the friends too. I loved getting to know them. Adored Fizz and her Insta posts and blog, smiled at pictures they created and laughed at some of the situations they found themselves in and how they overcome them.

It isn’t all perfect but you need it to read it not be told. There are some fabulous French characters too, which I let myself swoon over a couple of times. I really wanted to be one of this tight group (sighs). I loved how at even their age they still matured and changed, found what was important and took their chances for themselves.

A brilliant book, one that I feel I will read again.

I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.


Sarah Long worked in publishing before giving it all up to move to Paris with her husband and three children. She is the author of And What Do You Do? and The Next Best Thing. Following several years of the Parisian experience, she now lives in London.




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