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First French Essais: Venturing into Writing, Marriage, and France Paperback – March 3, 2014
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About the Author
Kristin Espinasse is the creator of French-Word-A-Day.com. Her personal essays make up the books "Words in a French Life" and "Blossoming in Provence." Columnist at France Today, her back page "Dernier Mot" is read by Francophiles bimonthly. Kristin lives in Provence with her husband, their two children, and two golden retrievers (Braise and Smokey). Receive her free word journal at www.french-word-a-day.com
Top customer reviews
I have subscribed to and enjoyed Kristin’s blog for several years. As an American, I like discovering differences in French culture (like doggy bags and parking meters) along with Kristin. I like learning handy French words and expressions (like la bagnole for car) that often don’t show up in textbooks or even dictionaries. I believe First French Essais has more vocabulary than the blog, and I like that. In the book, for some odd reason, Kristin teaches that la belle-mère means the mother-in-law at least three times. After the first mention, she could have used the space on her vocabulary blackboard graphics for fresh words.
And I would say that for the book’s language lessons to stick, a reader would have to already have some foundational grammar pegs to hang the new expressions on. Even if a reader did not pick up a single new French word, however, First French Essais: Venturing into Writing, Marriage, & France is an enjoyable read. The simple stories are charmingly well-told, and you can identify with the emotions of the people in the stories. Two bonuses at the end: a hidden-word puzzle and a dual-language story of how Monsieur Farjon, “the plant man,” ended up on the book’s cover. I enjoy Kristin’s openness to cross-cultural experiences and her candor about both failures and successes.
Her new book is enchanting, with witty and interesting stories as well as lovely photos. I also love the French vocabulary words sprinkled throughout the book.
I started reading her posts and her books when I started taking French classes. I wanted to be exposed to the French language. However, I have enjoyed learning not only more French words, but the French culture in words and photos via Kristin's life and adventures in France.
If you want to experience the beauty and charm of southern France without leaving home, you have to read First French Essais!
I have been to Provence a couple of times, and books such as this one bring back so many wonderful memories. Kristin Espinasse's writing is warm and inviting and when her blog comes through, it feels like a ray of sunshine. And just like in her blog, this book at the end of each essay, features a "French Vocabulary" which has a list of the French words that were sprinkled in her essay and what they mean in English. It's a fun way to learn French!