A Year in Provence – Peter Mayle

This post is going to be short and sweet, because I was not a huge fan of this novel.

It is a tale of a married couple who moved from the United States looking for a beautiful farmhouse in Provence, France. They find the house of their dreams and the entire book is a month-by-month account of their daily lives. They spend most of their time renovation their new home, talking to the country folk and complaining about how long the renovations are taking to complete.

What you will learn if you decide to take on the task of reading this novel for yourself:

1. With enough money you can relocate to Provence and buy a 200-year-old farmhouse with mossy swimming pool, problematic pipes, and a wine cave backing up to the Luberon mountains. Wait, it gets worse!

2. Once you do this everyone that has even vaguely heard your name and Provence together in the same sentence will attempt to visit whilst you are having a hell of a time fixing the charming antiquated house and bicycling into town. Hard times.

3. Tragedy strikes! Everything in Provence moves at a slower pace–including uninvited house guest departures and the guys you hired to remodel your soon to be awesome Provencal place. You are to be pitied, poor thing, having been forced to survive on mostly fresh breads, herb cheeses, and the occasional sausage.

4. It can be rough rumbling around in an old car looking for great places to eat. It is a daunting task you face after finding them, having to stuff your face with delicacies drizzled with truffle sauce.

5. The somewhat backwards, rough, but ultimately charming locals are worth talking to–you never know if they’ll tell you about how to choose a pig for hunting truffles or inform you that they’ve booby-trapped the area from foreign campers. How quaint, the poor dears!

6. Truly, life in Provence can prove to be much tougher than it seems. But give it a year or so before you decide to go home–at the very least, wait until you have managed to have your grapes harvested by the guy that works your vines–you’ve got to have your own wine to drink with your breads and cheeses to give you the strength to go on.

Don’t let the view fool you.. Even though it is breathtaking!

I thought this book would give me the want to travel to Provence, like Eat, Pray, Love made me want to go to Naples, Bali and India. But by the end, I didn’t want to go anywhere near this place, and maybe that is what the author was subconsciously trying to do. Because throughout the entire story, the characters were told how much they locales hate tourists, and by the end they comes to despise them as well.

For the first time in all my posts, this one I am not going to recommend. 😦

(Source : Jen)

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