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A Year in Provence

A Year in Provence

Written by Peter Mayle

Narrated by Peter Mayle


A Year in Provence

Written by Peter Mayle

Narrated by Peter Mayle

ratings:
4/5 (104 ratings)
Length:
2 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Nov 1, 2004
ISBN:
9781427208576
Format:
Audiobook

Description

More than 40,000 listeners have enjoyed this story on cassette. Now anyone who's ever dreamed of getting away from it all can enjoy the charms and challenges of A Year in Provence Peter Mayle and his wife had been to Provence as tourists. They had dreamed of one day trading the long, gray winters and damp summers of England for the blue skies and sunshine of the coast of southern France. And then they made it happen. They moved into an old farmhouse at the foot of the Luberon mountains and embarked on a wonderful, if at times bewildering, new life. Among their experiences that first year: being inundated with builders and visitors, grappling with the native accent, taking part in goat races and supervising the planting of a new vineyard. Peter Mayle personally recounts the pleasures and frustrations of Provençal life-sharing in a way no one else can, the unique and endearing culture that is Provence. A Year in Provence was a New York Times bestseller for three years and won the British Book Awards' "Best Travel Book of the Year."
Publisher:
Released:
Nov 1, 2004
ISBN:
9781427208576
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Peter Mayle spent 15 years in the advertising business before escaping in 1975 to write books, including his bestselling A Year in Provence and Toujours Provence. His work has been translated into 17 languages and he has contributed to a variety of newspapers and magazines. He lives with his wife in Provence.



Reviews

What people think about A Year in Provence

4.2
104 ratings / 54 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    In this book, Mayle relates how he and his wife purchased a property in Provence and how moving there was an eye-opening experience for them about the ins and outs of the French way of life. There isn't really much of an over-arching theme to this book, unlike the many expatriate-in-France memoirs that have followed this publication, but rather it just moves along chronologically with all the big and small events that happen to the Mayles over their first year as French inhabitants. These range from a variety of home improvement projects to shopping at the market to attending hunting parties and more. Along the way, they struggle with re-learning everyday customs (e.g., how many times to kiss a neighbor on the cheek in greeting versus their English habit of shaking hands). Mayle can be witty with his portrayals of little foibles and undoubtedly many of his observations about various cultural norms remain true; however, enough time has passed that certain things have changed (e.g., the European Union forming!). While this was an interesting enough read, I didn't find it compelling enough to want to read the follow-up books. At this point, I'd prefer to read something a little more up-to-date if I'm going to go for another 'hey-we-moved-to-France!' title.
  • (3/5)

    This and other reviews can be found on Reading Between Classes

    Cover Impressions: I really enjoy the mish-mash of elements in this cover.

    The Gist: Peter Mayle and his wife have visited Provence several times and fallen in love with the picturesque countryside and the relaxed style of life. They have decided to take the jump and buy a property there. Peter chronicles their first year in their new home.

    Review: This was a book club pick and not something I would normally have chosen for myself. The writing was enjoyable enough but I suffered along with the lack of a plot. Instead of a tale with a beginning, middle and end - I was presented with a large collection of anecdotes. While these were, in themselves, enjoyable, they did not lend to engrossment in the novel or inspire me to pick it up again after a few hours of distraction elsewhere.

    This book felt like a lazy summer day, pleasant, but lacking anything of substance. As such, I am having difficulty finding things to write about. There was nothing inherently BAD about the book, but there was nothing particularly impressive either. One issue that I did encounter was the descriptions of food. At the beginning, these were interesting and charming but, as time wore on, they became tedious. By the end of the book, I felt that I had sat with Peter and his wife at every meal for an entire year!

    All in all, A Year in Provence is a light, easy read perfectly suited to an easy going vacation or simply a trip to the beach. However, if you are looking for something with a little more substance, it would be best to move on to something else on the shelf.
  • (4/5)
    This will make you want to visit France. And Eat. Fair warning.
  • (4/5)
    A very pleasant light read about an English couple who buy a farmhouse in Provence. Their first year includes the joys of home renovations and house guests, interesting neighbours, grape picking and mushroom gathering, and mouth-watering descriptions of food and wine. It even gave me one laugh-out-loud moment.
  • (3/5)
    The travel porn aspect of this was great - I wished that I could eat what they ate and have two bottles of wine with every lunch and ramble around in a forest with my dogs.

    On the other hand, it was also like, I get it, you guys are rich. And if there had been anything to the story or to their personalities that didn't revolve around that, it wouldn't have bothered me.

    Also, he so specifically describes the people and places of the village and not always in the best way - that doesn't seem very smart.
  • (4/5)
    lovely, light, entertaining, funny, mouth watering.