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Beginning, appropriately enough, on New Year's Day with a divine luncheon in a quaint restaurant, Mayle sets the scene and pits his British sensibilities against it. "We had talked about it during the long gray winters and the damp green summers," he writes, "looked with an addict's longing at photographs of village markets and vineyards, dreamed of being woken up by the sun slanting through the bedroom window." He describes in loving detail the charming, 200-year-old farmhouse at the base of the Lubéron Mountains, its thick stone walls and well-tended vines, its wine cave and wells, its shade trees and swimming pool--its lack of central heating. Indeed, not 10 pages into the book, reality comes crashing into conflict with the idyll when the Mistral, that frigid wind that ravages the Rhône valley in winter, cracks the pipes, rips tiles from the roof, and tears a window from its hinges. And that's just January.
In prose that skips along lightly, Mayle records the highlights of each month, from the aberration of snow in February and the algae-filled swimming pool of March through the tourist invasions and unpredictable renovations of the summer months to a quiet Christmas alone. Throughout the book, he paints colorful portraits of his neighbors, the Provençaux grocers and butchers and farmers who amuse, confuse, and befuddle him at every turn. A Year in Provence is part memoir, part homeowner's manual, part travelogue, and all charming fun. --L.A. Smith
Read it while traveling in Provence. Perfect timing! Loved the way Mayle made the area real.Published 2 days ago by Shirley Ostenson
This book was so eloquent and delightful, I learned to try, and to love, new foods!Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
Loved this read so much I pasted it on to my husband to read also. It is very entertaining and a lighthearted fun read.Published 19 days ago by Amazon Customer
Loved this book. Reminds me greatly of Julia Child's book of her years in La belle France with her husband Paul. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Kindle Customer
I have read most of Peter Mayles books, and this is one of his best.......Really makes
one long to visit Provence......He is a very good writer.....
Nice, breezy writing style. I had just been to Provence so I expected to love it, but to me it was too much of the same thing.Published 21 days ago by Gail C.
The title says it all, if my meager French is correct... Agrand craziness for all to enjoy. C est toutPublished 23 days ago by gene30