I LOVE FRANCE!
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Falling In Love In The Heart Of France
Published June 3rd, 2013 by Summersdale
In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this Ebook for free from the author
through Author Alliance
in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post as a reviewer,
and the thoughts are my own.
Available in any bookstore
This book counts for the following Reading Challenges:
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK
This book totally cracked me up, it was the perfect light book I needed this summer, between Proust, Saramago, and other biggies.
L’Amour Actually is “a fictionalised travel memoir loosely based on Melanie’s life in rural France” [quoting the author herself on her Facebook page]. It is not high literature, but that’s a very enjoyable short book. It is very lively, with very true to life and funny dialogues.
Mel has had enough with her over busy gloomy life in London, and she basically leaves overnight to settle in the South West of France, in the middle of nowhere, in a very old house that does not even have real toilets. Apart from romantic clichés, she has really no clue about real life in France, even less about rural life. She ends up in all kind of crazy situations worthy of P. G. Wodehouse, treated with his humor, yes, I’m serious, and I LOVE Wodehouse.
It seemed sometimes over done to me, and I was appalled that someone would know so little about life in the countryside, but actually it could all be very well true; I have spent many years of my life in small French villages, so I’m not a good judge.
The book goes deeper and shows how one can evolve and grow by being rooted in a totally new environment where one learns the real values of life. Through many ordeals, Mel ends up learning how to live life to the full.
The end was somewhat what I expected, but it is anyhow very beautiful, and Melanie do you read this?, I can’t wait for the sequel, for it really sounds to call for one.
One thing though I totally cannot endorse was Mel’s reaction to andouillette:
“I picked up my knife and fork and cut it into it before popping a bit in my mouth and chewing enthusiastically. I smiled at Sam. The smile started to fade almost as quickly at it had appeared and was replaced by a look that was a cross between horror and desperation.’Bloody hell,’ I said, my mouth still full of andouillette,’what is this stuff? It tastes like… like… shit. Literally.”Pig’s colon sausage?’I gagged.” [page 99 – ebook]
Yes, andouillette is made with pig’s colon, it is very tasty, but no, it does NOT taste like shit. It is a specialty of Troyes, in the Champagne region where I lived for many years, and the Champenois consider it a very fine dish. Please try it!
WHAT IS IT ABOUT
After one particularly bad day at work, marketing executive and confirmed city girl Melanie Jones decides to give up her old life in search of something new and simpler in South West France. With little knowledge of the country, even less of the language and just the memory of a disastrous school French exchange and a few day trips to Calais, she embarks on her adventure with a suitcase full of optimism and not a little bit of naivety. After all, how different can life in France be? After a series of adventures with skirt-ripping tractors, handsome twin farmers, celebrity not-quite-beens, unusual toilets and a bonkers ex-pat community, all topped up, of course, with lashings of rosé, Melanie begins to discover that her new life in France isn’t quite what she’d thought it would be [Goodreads]
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
There is not much out there on Melanie Jones,
not even on her website or her Facebook page.
But I found this wonderful interview.
Jacqui at The French Village Diaries
has also a very nice review about this book.
HAVE YOU READ ANY OTHER BOOK
ON ENGLISH EXPATS IN FRANCE?
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