Thursday, 7 May 2020

Mayle, Peter "A Year in Provence"

Mayle, Peter "A Year in Provence" - 1989

I have read several books of people who left their country (mainly England) in order to settle elsewhere (mainly Southern Europe, France, Spain, Italy).

My favourites there: The Olive Series by Carol Drinkwater and "Driving Over Lemons" by Chris Stewart.

But I had also read some not so good ones and over time, they get a little repetitive. But a friend told me she had read all of Peter Mayle's books about his settling in Provence and they were hilarious, so I decided I'll give it a try.

I liked that book but not as much as the ones mentioned above. The author has a nice sense of humour, his stories about his French neighbours, the handymen, the food, everything is quite interesting. If you like this type of book, read it. He has written more about his life in Provence but, as I've already read so many, I won't accompany him and his wife on their journey.

From the back cover:

"Peter Mayle and his wife did what most of us only imagine doing when they made their long-cherished dream of a life abroad a reality: throwing caution to the wind, they bought a glorious two hundred year-old farmhouse in the Lubéron Valley and began a new life.

In a year that begins with a marathon lunch and continues with a host of gastronomic delights, they also survive the unexpected and often hilarious curiosities of rural life. From mastering the local accent and enduring invasion by bumbling builders, to discovering the finer points of boules and goat-racing, all the earthy pleasures of Provençal life are conjured up in this enchanting portrait."


  1. I think I was supposed to read this one for a reading group some years ago. I did not make it all the way through.

    1. Well, I wouldn't exactly call it "high literature". If you look for something distracting, not too challenging, it's a nice read but that's all I can say as praise.


  2. Awww, I love this book, mostly because my dad loves this book (and its sequel, though I don't think he read beyond that) and in college he convinced me to read it too. It was one of the first non-YA books that also wasn't about animals that I ever actually enjoyed reading. I've never wanted to live in France, but darned if Mayle didn't almost convince me I did.

    1. I can see how this book made you want to move to France. However, never ever read any of the other books that I mentioned, then, because you might start packing. LOL

      Anyway, you are right, he gives a good account of living there as a foreigner. I Have lived abroad and encountered all sorts of people, some very welcoming, ohters not so much. So, I could see his view very well.

      Thanks for visiting my blog. I'll head over to yours now.

    2. I have just added a few comments on your blog and one was "marked as spam". No idea, why. It was on the TTT page. If you can't find one, let me know.