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A Pig in Provence: Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France Paperback – April 7, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

Review

PRAISE FOR A PIG IN PROVENCE
 
"You can almost smell the lavender as you follow Brennan's love affair with the province that became her second home and shaped the culinary persona of this cooking teacher and food author. Brennan is a talented storyteller."—San Francisco Chronicle

"Georgeanne Brennan's captivating memoir reminds me of why I, too, was enchanted by Provence. She beautifully captures the details of living in a place where the culture of the table ties a community together—where everyone knows the butcher and the baker, and everyone depends on the farmers."—Alice Waters, owner, Chez Panisse

About the Author

GEORGEANNE BRENNAN is the author of numerous cooking and gardening books, and the recipient of the James Beard Foundation Award and the IACP/Julie Child Cookbook Award for her writing. She lives in northern California and Provence, where she has a seasonal cooking school.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 209 pages
  • Publisher: Harvest Books; 1 edition (April 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156033240
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156033244
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #136,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By R. Amaro on December 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic story about one woman's introduction to and exploration of life in Provence. The book takes you on a culinary journey through the region, with beautiful introductions to specialties of the area. Each chapter features a different major Provence food: truffles, goat cheese, garlic, etc and ends with a recipe that has been featured in the narrative. For those who want understand the relationship between the land, the food, and the people of Provence, this book is highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
A PIG IN PROVENCE: GOOD FOOD AND SIMPLE PLEASURES IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE tells of a habitual France vacationer who decides to buy a small farmhouse deep in the backcountry. Thirty years later she tells the story of her life in Provence: a story that revolves around seasonal change, culinary specialties, and fun stories of the foodways and culture of the region. Any fan of Provence or French culinary traditions will find this gentle story revealing and appealing, and libraries catering to Francophiles will also find it a popular lend.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By WireChairsMissing on April 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
What an interesting, informative, and lovely culinary memoir! Georgeanne Brennan was a true trailblazer by going off to Provence with her family in the early 70's, at the height of the Vietnam War. This wasn't mere escapism--it was an attempt to get back to the land and learn what culinary traditions are all about (since most of those traditions in the U.S. were getting lost in the post-WWII industrialization of food production). Reading about the seasonal celebrations and ceremonies that are embedded in Provencal history is truly fascinating through the eyes of an American. Add to that a classic recipe at the end of each chapter that pertains to what you've just read preceeding it, and you have the perfect summer travel lit read!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Zuri on September 6, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If I hadn't been such a Francophile, and if I didn't adore Provence, I'd have given this book 2 stars. The positives are the wonderful food descriptions, the simple recipes she tags on to each chapter, and me, as armchair traveller, back in Provence again. So if you are not like me, this book is not for you.

The negatives are, unfortunately, many. First of all Georgeanne jumps around in time far too much. It gets confusing. I do think a memoir should be fairly chronological. Then there is little about the towns of Provence: I miss the colourful descriptions I came across in other, similar books. Georgeanne's style, unfortunately, is somewhat lacklustre. I missed the sparkle which should have been there.

Information and description of people are there, but too thin on the ground. She mentions Donald, her first husband, frequently, but she never gives him a word of dialogue or a mind of his own, so he stays a mere paper cutout and not a real person at all.

I badly missed the more intimate details of her own life, which really should be what a memoir is about. She mentions a second husband, Jim, but we never learn (can you believe) what happened to Donald. Did they divorce or did he die? She does not tell us how Jim came into her life. In the end we also do not know what happened to her children as adults. It's as if Georgeanne went out of her way to keep any personal information a secret -- what a pity. One can reveal one's real life without compromising too much privacy. So a more detailed telling of her own life story would have made this book much more interesting. And then there's a lack of humour, always so welcome in a memoir like this.

She mentions a cooking "school" which she seemed to set up later in life, but again -- no details!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By PAB on January 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is not only an immensely enjoyable memoir of provencal living which is so easy to read, it has a useful overview of subjects such as mushroom collecting with practical receipes at the end of each chapter. I have ALOT of books about americans living in France and this is one of my favorites to date.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Rennie on December 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Found the timeline jumping around disconcerting. two husbands/ different locations/ differnt years out of sequence. Reasonable coverage of Provence, the locals and cuisine but nowhere near the standards of Mayle's books on that area.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Cecelia J. Bonesteel on June 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
For foodies especially, this is an invitation to experience Provence from the 70's to present day and become part of the author's circle of friends/family. You can also learn a lot about food and it's preparation from Georgeanne. At the end, wondered about her first husband (Donald). Did he die or did they divorce? Not critical to know, but curious because he disappeared from the narrative after being a big part of the early years.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E.A. on December 8, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A quick time passing read, but it wasn't as good as I thought and I was a little disappointed. I wish I hadn't bought it and had waited for the library to get it. As a library book I probably would have skim read most of it. The stories were average and clique as far as stories of life in Provence goes and I felt as if I had heard/read them elsewhere which only a few details changed. I also felt the book was one written after the author has been a success so the publishers will print anything written regardless of whether it is any good or not. After every chapter or so, there would be a recipe, some were good, but many I already had a better authentic Provence recipe I preferred to use.
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