Book Review of A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle.

A Year in Provence is a month-by-month account of the charms and frustrations that Peter Mayle and his wife experience during their first year in the remote country of the Luberon, while restoring a two hundred year old stone farm house that they have bought on sight. The couple had been there often as tourists. They had cherished the dream of someday living all year under the Provencal sun. And suddenly it happens. Lock-stock-and-barrel, the author, his wife and their two dogs are making a new home in France. This is the theme of the book.

There’s nothing left to do for Peter Mayle and his wife – but to flow with the tide! Looking into the challenges of restoring their old farm house, dealing with the impracticalities of village-workers leaving them with rubble and uncertainty. But France is France and the French are French! The Mayles, on the whole, have a soft spot for the nation and its people. Describing their experiences, Peter Mayle is a great narrator joining up with a perfect proportion of humour. At many points, I had to fold the book and start laughing aloud with the freedom that at the end – tears were rolling down my cheeks! From January to December – A Year in Provence will give you enough insight into grape vineyards, wine, France’s favourite ritual – food. You might even want to become the proprietor of a French Café! Who knows what can happen between another January and December!

Also by Peter Mayle: Provence A-Z, Confessions of a French Baker, A Good Year, French Lessons, Encore Provence, Chasing Cezanne, A Dog! Life, Hotel Pastis, Toujours Provence.

Geeta Chhabra

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