Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Wednesday=Book Review Time--In a french mood

Up for today: A YEAR IN PROVENCE by Peter Mayle
a year in provence by mamichan
Why I bought it? I had heard it was really good, and Provence has a special place in my heart because of the time I lived there.

Synopsis: This is a memoir of the first year that the British Peter Mayle lived in Provence. It tells how he decided to live the dream of renouncing the stress of the world and moving to the south of France. His beautiful old house there, the vineyard, the brilliant blue skies, the wine, the incredible food. When reality sets in, he finds a different kind of stress. The Mistral, snow, renovations. Yikes. It's not exactly what he bargained for.

What I thought? This book is completely charming. Mayle tells it like it is without pulling any punches. The good and the bad. I had heard that is was funny, and it really delivered there. It reminded me of so many of my own experiences with people and things in Provence. Very authentic. I recommend this highly to anyone, especially those who have spent time in France. 

My rating: ***** out of 5

Cleanness Score:  4 out of 10. This one is actually quite clean. There are some adult situations but nothing really provocative.

19 comments:

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I love this book.
I read a few chapters before our move to France and then things got crazy with the move and I never finished it. I thought about reading it in France, but then I started working on my own memoir and decided to skip it. I was afraid that his style or observations might creep into my writing. But when I finally sat down with it, I laughed and laughed. It's so true!

Litgirl01 said...

Ohh! Sounds like a great book! :-) I'll have to check it out.

Anna Claire said...

This is so bizarre that you posted a review of this book because a friend just recommended it to me this morning! I'm going to Paris and Provence in a few weeks, and now I think I HAVE to get this book and read before I go. Thanks for the great review!

Stacy Nyikos said...

Oooooh, it sounds like "Under the Tuscan Sun" a la Provence. Deliciously fun!

lotusgirl said...

Becky, I knew you would love this one. It is so authentic, isn't it? Your book reminds me a lot of this one because it has the same authenticity.

Litgirl, You should definitely check it out.

Anna Claire, I would read it before you go. It will help you understand the French culture and mentality. They have a very different way of looking at things than we do.

lotusgirl said...

Stacy, It has some similarities to Under the Tuscan Sun, but I liked A Year in Provence better. I preferred Mayle's voice.

Lady Glamis said...

Thanks for the review! I want to live in France... or maybe Italy instead.

I think it's great that you found a book that's authentic. Sometimes those are hard to come by, especially when you've been to and lived in that area.

lotusgirl said...

It's so true. The authenticity makes all the difference. When you've lived there you can really tell.

PJ Hoover said...

I think the cover is awesome! I'd buy it for this reason alone. Of course your review would further persuade me!

lotusgirl said...

Yeah, PJ, I love the cover too.

Jenn Johansson said...

*adds book to list. List falls off desk, rolls out door and down the street because it's so long...*

*goes on vacation, has to check two extra bags to carry all "must read" books*

;)

Paul Äertker said...

C'était un livre qui m'a beaucoup plu parce que c'était exactement comme la vie là bas; mais pour y vivre en realité ça c'était un peu trop! |:~)

Ann Victor said...

Ooh. Definitely sounds like a good book. I love France although I've never been there (it's on my list!) Love the Russell Crowe movie "A Good Year". This book sounds like I'd enjoy it too!

Kelly H-Y said...

Oooh, just like 'French by Heart', this one's right up my alley! Thanks for the recommendation!

Windsong said...

This sounds great! I love humor and those pictures are beautiful. Thanks for the review. :D

*adds to TBR list*

Cortney said...

I'll have to read it, but.....have you ever rated a book at less than 5 stars??

lotusgirl said...

Jenn, LOL! Good luck with that list. It sounds pretty unwieldy.

Paul, C'est vrai, mais j'ai beaucoup aime' y vivre. J'aimerais le faire encore.

Ann, France is a marvelous place to visit.

Kelly, Yeah, I loved French by Heart too.

Windsong, Provence is a beautiful place.

Cortney, I have. The lowest I've given here is 3 1/2. Part of that is that, if I read more than one book in a week, I'll pick the best book. If I have a week like this one where I didn't finish the one I was reading because it kept putting me to sleep, I pick one I read a while back that I loved as a recommendation for others. All of those will get a 5 because I love them. If I hate a book I tend not to review it because I don't like to cut down other writers' work in a public forum. But I suppose it could be helpful for others to know not to pick them up, if they like the same stuff that I do.

Robyn said...

Great review! I was wondering what my next read would be. You've totally convinced me. :)

lotusgirl said...

Robyn, I hope you like it.