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A Year in Provence (Vintage Departures) Kindle Edition
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"Delightful." —The Washington Post
"Get a glass of marc, lean back in your most comfortable chair, and spend a delicious year in Provence." —George Lang
"Engaging, funny and richly appreciative." —The New York Times Book Review
"Stylish, witty, delightfully readable." —The Sunday Times (London)
"Fascinating." —Christian Science Monitor
"I really loved this book." —Julia Child
From the Trade Paperback edition.
- Publication date : May 7, 2010
- File size : 3117 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 213 pages
- Publisher : Vintage (May 7, 2010)
- ASIN : B003L1ZVMW
- Language: : English
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #68,435 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Mayle also writes of their journeys to visit fabulous restaurants and the French love of food and wine. He cultivates vines on his own property, and also learns to appreciate a perfect olive oil.
The tales of the endless string of visitors, some mere casual acquaintances, and some of whom invite themselves to stay, are also told with humour and restraint, though you definitely get the impression that they felt put upon from time to time. I also discovered that it can be brutally hot during the summer months in Provence, so I'm glad we're going in early spring !
"A Year in Provence" is not at all a travelogue, or even a guide book, but is a terrifically entertaining series of essays about living among the French in every season, being accepted (at least to a certain extent) into their culture, and enjoying all that this beautiful country has to offer.
Whether or not the reader ever decides, like the author, to emigrate to Provence, we can all learn from his example to rejoice in what is best about the diverse richness of humanity. The timeless message is that we can gain enormously from opening ourselves to other cultures - a message that perhaps has never been more timely than today.
Top reviews from other countries
Having recently spent some time in Provence, I took the plunge and purchased. I am so glad I did, a truly enjoyable read, local people presented as real people with characteristics, rather than as stereotyped "mad French "characters" ". All the time, I actually felt I was there, such is the skill of the writing.
Clearly Mayle had an advantage in that he was obviously very well-heeled and could afford many things denied to the more ordinary of us, but it still sounded genuinely idyllic.
The only sour note was his permanent reference to Mrs Mayle as "my wife" - never, ever, by her first name. I found that sadly old-fashioned and rather absurd, if not insulting to her.
But, a minor gripe in an otherwise superb book.
And, of course, what Mayle is especially famous for are his hunger-inducing commentaries on French food and drink. Throughout their Year in Provence, he and his wife eat ‘for England.’ So exceptional is the food that they are called upon to sample that they invariably return home, ‘pushing’ their ‘stomachs’ before them.
Added to this is his priceless feedback on what the French themselves think of the English, of their cooking, and of their strange and inexplicable customs: ‘Ils sont bizarres, les Anglais.’ Particularly odd, in fact, are Mayle’s visitors from the UK, intent on seeking him out at any cost so that they can make use of his home and pool for their winter-sun holiday.
Above all Mayle is a master of physical description: ‘His face was the colour and texture of a hastily cooked steak.’ For the enjoyment of that aspect of the book alone, I have no doubt I will read it again.
His description of dealing with tradesmen just showed you how much they had adapted to the French way of life as they never got frustrated. You definitely have to be in the right frame of mine to be able to deal with the French gallic shrug! Everything is quoted as taking 2 weeks but ends up taking months!