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A Well-Kept Home : Household Traditions and Simple Secrets from a French Grandmother Hardcover – April 21, 2001
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About the Author
Laura Fronty is a journalist, stylist, and contributor to a number of interior and lifestyle magazines. She is also the author of more than a dozen books. Yves Duronsoy is a photographer who works regularly for international fashion and lifestyle magazines.
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Actually, I have this book in French, because I bought it in France a while ago, because I am French, and I've been using it since then. I recently tried the cleaning of copper and it is amazing how it works, better than any product I ever bought before for copper cleaning !
I am wondering if readers who are so aggressive towards this book aren't so because they really don't like French people ? I may understand that, but this book is not to blame. And I precise I don't know the author, I am not linked to the original publisher, so I have absolutely no reason to write a good revue on it, except really loving it.
The recipes given in this book, are really old recipes used by our grandmothers in France, not only the author's grandmothers, but many old people in France, like my own grandmother. We just don't listen when we are a child, and then, we regret. With this book, we have everything gathered in it, with gorgeous photos.
Of course, it is more "natural recipes", so if you search for something chemical, harsh, efficient over the top, it is not for you.
These recipes respect nature, avoid pollution, are smooth, soft recipes, but still softly efficient.
Another book which is good for that, an English one this time is : "A Guide to Green Housekeeping" by Christina Strutt of Cabbages and Roses. Very ecological, natural, soft, amazing too.
These two books are my two guides in home.
If you are patient and curious, I am sure you will appreciate them as well.
If anything, the photographs in the book are exquisite, and if you study them for decorating ideas, gardening ideas and color combinations, the book is certainly worth a dent in your credit or library card. The prose, however, needs more than a little tightening up and perhaps some fact-checking.
Reading it is a sensuous experience - and not just because of the gorgeous photography on every page. The words are tactile, inspiring one to create sophistication and luxury in the experience of ordinary things. The book has nothing to do with spirituality - and yet, it seems to me that is precisely what is here - an exercise in the mindfulness possible in daily living.
This book is made of heavy, glossy paper - it is definitely a 'coffee table book'. But it is so much more than that. It has been a long time since I've had so much pleasure from reading a book.
If you're interested in "old ways" or in France, you might also enjoy REALLY RURAL, a book by Marie-France Boyer.