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A year in Provence
1990
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Genre
NonFiction
Adventure
Topics
French culture
Social customs
Cultural differences
Building renovation
Historic preservation
Cultural identity
Cultures
Cultural assimilation
Setting
Provence, France - Europe
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

An amusing account of an English couple's first year as residents of rural Provence, from the unpleasantness of the winter mistral to the transgressions of summer tourists. Since the old farmhouse they purchased needed repairs, they were immediately beset with problems in dealing with the foibles of local craftspeople and officialdom, not to mention the neighbors--human and animal. Nowhere in France is the consumption of food and drink taken more seriously, and food preparation, dining, and wining anecdotes are prominent in virtually every chapter. A Francophile's delight, this is a highly entertaining book which also teaches a lesson in social life and customs. Recommended for most collections. Mayle is the author of such popular books for children as Where Did I Come From and What's Happening to Me. --Ed.-- Sondra Brunhumer, Western Michigan Univ. Libs., Kalamazoo (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

An account of the author's first frustrating but enlightening year in Provence opens with a memorable New Year's lunch and closes with an impromptu Christmas dinner. ``In nimble prose, Mayle . . . captures the humorous aspects of visits to markets, vineyards and goat races, and hunting for mushrooms,'' said PW. Author tour. Illustrated. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Summary
They had been there often as tourists. They had cherished the dream of someday living all year under the Provencal sun. And suddenly it happened.<br> <br> Here is the month-by-month account of the charms and frustrations that Peter Mayle and his wife -- and their two large dogs -- experience their first year in the remote country of the Luberon restoring a two-centuries-old stone farmhouse that they bought on sight. From coping in January with the first mistral, which comes howling down from the Rhone Valley and wreaks havoc with the pipes, to dealing as the months go by with the disarming promises and procrastination of the local masons and plumbers, Peter Mayle delights us with his strategies for survival. He relishes the growing camaraderie with his country neighbors -- despite the rich, soupy, often impenetrable patois that threatens to separate them. He makes friends with boar hunters and truffle hunters, a man who eats foxes, and another who bites dentists; he discovers the secrets of handicapping racing goats and of disarming vipers. And he comes to dread the onslaught of tourists who disrupt his tranquillity.<br> <br> In this often hilarious, seductive book Peter Mayle manages to transport us info all the earthy pleasures of Provencal life and lets us live vicariously in a tempo governed by seasons, not by days. George Lang, who was smitten, suggests: "Get a glass of marc, lean back in your most comfortable chair, and spend a delicious year in Provence."
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