Peter Mayle's earlier books on his time in Provence have introduced us to a utopian world of sun, fine wine and cuisine, the quirks of provencal living and a number of interesting characters. What he does in Hotel Pastis is use this idyllic world as a background for the telling of what is generally a very uncomplicated but warm and cheerful story. We've all read those stories of people following a dream and escaping to warmer climates, living in picture postcard surroundings and romancing with beautiful people and this book offers more of the same. There are one or two sub-plots and twists but the book is still following a common genre. That said, i still enjoyed this one very much, finishing it off in under two days.
Its certainly not a classic but if you are a Mayle/Provence buff, you want an easy story to read while relaxing by the pool on holiday or perhaps to cheer you up on those dark and grey winter evenings then Hotel Pastis has a lot to offer.