Book highlights: Taking Root in Provence – I love France #76

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Taking Root in Provence

Taking Root in Provence

Taking Root in Provence
By Anne-Marie SIMONS

Publisher: Distinction Press
Pub. Date: 2011
ISBN: 9780980217575
Pages:  208
Genre: nonfiction / travel
Source: received from the author

Buy Links: Distinction Press  |  Amazon  | Kindle




Rating system

Your friends love France and can’t wait to go back? This book is the perfect Christmas gift for them!

As you may remember if you follow my blog, I was really thrilled to review Taking Root in Provence  last summer.
You don’t remember?
Well then, why not hop there a minute, and see why I think everyone should read this book, especially if you are preparing your next vacation in Provence! It is full of great insights, great ideas on what to do, to see, on how to appreciate the local culture, including its cuisine (oh, my, Oscar’s recipes at the end of the book…) and will definitely help you bear this crazy cold winter by giving you sunny glimpses on what life there can be.

Be sure to go read the review, and come back for some quotations here. I am so happy to have the chance to present this book again to my readers for France Book Tours.

And if you scroll down, you will find 5 chances to win a copy of the  book!


If in the United States the day after Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the Christmas season, in Provence the date is December 4th, the Fête de la Sainte Barbe (Barbara). On that day, people buy little packets of seeds of wheat which they sprinkle on wet cotton placed on saucers. By Christmas day, the wheat has grown tall and green and will serve as table decoration during Christmas dinner.

Say winter, say mimosa. Soon after Christmas, the first mimosa appears at our flower markets and a month later the town of Mandelieu-la-Napoule, the mimosa capital near Cannes, celebrates with a two-week-long festival complete with a Mimosa Queen and large floats overflowing with the cheery yellow bloom, like so many rays of sunshine.

When friends say they envy us for living in the south of France i sometimes feel like telling them that it is not all roses down here. (There, that should make them feel better). Take strikes, for example. As French as the baguette but a lot harder to digest, la grève is so regular an occurrence here that it has become part of the fabric of life.

It’s been more than ten years since we left Washington, D.C. (doesn’t tempus fugit?), and we increasingly feel at home in France but -boy- do things remain different here…
But the greatest difference of all is the subject of food – a national craze if not an obsession…
In fact, every year in October there is a national Semaine du Goût which promotes the pleasure of eating as illustrated by chefs, restaurant owners, nutritionists, farmers and – why not?- the Minister of Agriculture himself.


Two expatriates left Washington DC in search of the ideal place to retire where climate, culture, accessibility and natural beauty all had a role to play. Curious about the vaunted quality of life in the south of France, they traveled the length and width of Provence where, preferring the city to the countryside, they decided to settle in the ancient town of Aix-en-Provence. That was in 1998 and Taking Root in Provence is the story of their slow integration into the French mainstream — both easier and more difficult than expected but ultimately successful.

In a series of vignettes Anne-Marie Simons gives us a warts-and-all picture of life among the French and with warmth and humor shares her lessons learned. Contrary to most publications about Provence, this book focuses on life in the city rather than the quiet countryside, and promises to be both informative and revealing to those who want to spend more than a passing holiday here. [from the author’s website]


Anne-Marie SimonsAbout us, rather:
Anne-Marie has worked as a translator, teacher, journalist, sportswriter (covering Formula 1 races),
and director of corporate communications.
She followed her husband Oscar into early retirement in 1998.
Oscar made his career in international development banking
and since moving to Provence has become an expert on Provençal cooking.
[Author’s profile on her blog]





Are you curious enough
and would like to win a copy of the book?
Come visit the virtual book tour,
read reviews, an interview, and an excerpt,
and discover the 5 blogs where you can win the book!


Just a reminder guys:

If you link your own post on France,

please if possible

include the title of the book or topic in your link:

name of your blog (name of the book title or topic):

example : me @ myblog (Camus)


2 thoughts on “Book highlights: Taking Root in Provence – I love France #76

  1. Pingback: France Book Tours stops for Nov 25-30 | France Book Tours

  2. Pingback: Anne-Marie Simons on upcoming Tour: Taking Root In Provence | France Book Tours

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