A Year in Provence Author:Peter Mayle They had been there often as tourists. They had cherished the dream of someday living all year under the Provencal sun. And suddenly it happened. — Here is the month-by-month account of the charms and frustrations that Peter Mayle and his wife -- and their two large dogs -- experience their first year in the remote country of the Luberon restorin... more »g a two-centuries-old stone farmhouse that they bought on sight. From coping in January with the first mistral, which comes howling down from the Rhone Valley and wreaks havoc with the pipes, to dealing as the months go by with the disarming promises and procrastination of the local masons and plumbers, Peter Mayle delights us with his strategies for survival. He relishes the growing camaraderie with his country neighbors -- despite the rich, soupy, often impenetrable patois that threatens to separate them. He makes friends with boar hunters and truffle hunters, a man who eats foxes, and another who bites dentists; he discovers the secrets of handicapping racing goats and of disarming vipers. And he comes to dread the onslaught of tourists who disrupt his tranquility.
In this often hilarious, seductive book Peter Mayle manages to transport us info all the earthy pleasures of Provencal life and lets us live vicariously in a tempo governed by seasons, not by days. George Lang, who was smitten, suggests: "Get a glass of marc, lean back in your most comfortable chair, and spend a delicious year in Provence."« less
I thoroughly enjoyed this book...spent last night after supper at the table sipping wine and reading bits out loud to my husband! I found it a bit eye-opening to read about the more "rural" French....they are surprisingly "down-to-earth". Some of us Americans tend to think of all the French as sophisticated snobs...apparently those are the Parisiennes to some degree, but the French farmer and laborer are much like us...only with a huge zest for life...and food and drink-whew! I also found it interesting the way the French get around the exorbitant taxes imposed by a typical European socialist government...we may, très infortuné, need some of those tips in the years to come here in America.
I really enjoyed reading this, although, I would have probably enjoyed it more if I knew French. :) There are French words and phrases scattered throughout, but it is not essential to understand French to read the book. The book was very enjoyable, regardless. I enjoyed the author's sense of humor. Overall, I would recommend this book.
A lighthearted account of the first year's happenings when two English writers move to Provence. Recurring characters include restauranteurs, neighbors, handymen, and their wives. Fun commentary on the adjustment necessary to move to another country, buy a house, renovate, and finally settle in as townspeople.
This was a delightful book which I read while on vacation in South Florida - so it's not Provence, but it was a close as I'm getting right now! I waffled between wanting to hop on an Air France jet to Provence or Delta back to Jersey several times. Let's say the heat and the cold didn't endear me to Provence, but spring and autumn sounded just about right!
I enjoyed the written feast of life in Provence immensely. One of these days my husband and I will pack our bags and play tourist in Provence, but you bet it won't be in August! :)
I really enjoyed reading this.
I liked the chronological format.
Each chapter is a month of humorous events that begin early in the year, with buying a nice fixer upper in the French countryside, and conclude at year end with finishing projects and celebrations with food, fellowship and fruitful harvests of the region.
I like maps and found myself looking up the places mentioned so I could see it the areas for myself. To read about fields of lavender sounds nice; then to look it up on Google Maps (or geographic source of your choice) and read first hand reviews and see photographs of the lavender fields... that was pretty cool.
This was a nice, light read. Enjoyed the author's description of their "culture shock," and reading about the things they fell in love with and wouldn't ever get used to. Thought it funny how they come to view "tourists." Similar to "Under the Tuscan Sun," I recommend this to all who enjoy sitting down with a book with the ability to take them away to another country and life.
I loved this book so much I have collected the several sequels to it. Being a retired French teacher and having visited France at one time, though not Provence, made this memoir all the sweeter, although it can certainly be enjoyed by anyone. The account of Mayle and his wife's year is amusing, informative and terrific story-telling. I laughed out loud more than once!