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Fidelma Cook's French Leave (Or, Yes I'll Have Another Vin Rouge S'il Vous Plait) [Paperback]

Fidelma Cook
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 May 2009
That fateful night, two friends were commiserating with high-flying journalist, Fidelma Cook after she d been made redundant from her job with a national Sunday newspaper. Several bottles of red wine had also been thrown in for good measure. Then it came to her in a flash I ll just pack my bags and go live in France, she boldly announced. That was the moment Fidelma threw common sense right out of the fenetre. But with no job, a huge mortgage to pay, massive overdraft, several loans and maxed-out credit cards, it seemed like a good idea at the time. If I m going to be poor, I may as well be poor with the sun on my back in the south of France, she mused. The word soon got round that Fidelma was saying au revoir to the big city and bonjour to a new life in the French countryside. There was no turning back. This is the witty and thought-provoking account of how one woman - with only her pet Afghan hound for company - battled against all odds to make a new life for herself in a foreign country and live the dream we all wish we had the courage to do ourselves. It was a dream that sometimes bordered on a nightmare. But who said it would be easy? Well, actually it was Fidelma who did.

Product details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Macdonald Media Publishing (25 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955312639
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955312632
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 379,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'There are lots of books about living abroad, but Cook's sharp eye and refusal to patronise the natives makes hers a cut above the rest.' --Mail on Sunday

'Read Fidelma's book in one sitting, laughed out loud and winced at some of the scrapes she got herself into. She spares no one least of all herself!' --Lorraine Kelly, GMTV

Watch review on YouTube...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsO19aKIAu4 --YouTube

About the Author

Fidelma Cook is one of the UK's top journalists and has worked in national newspapers, radio and television during a long career in the media. Following her move to France, she has carried out a variety of assignments for the UK and international media. She also writes a weekly column for The Herald newspaper's Saturday magazine.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Fabulous 17 Jun 2009
If Fidelma Cook ever decides to decamp from France and return to British shores I wouldn't be surprised if she were met by a queue of people willing to share a glass or two of vin rouge with her. This book is fabulous, a triumph of determination and humour in the face of pretty much everything life could and has thrown at her. Too often personal memoirs are self-obsessed rather than self-aware but Fidelma never once strays into this territory - her observations about herself and her changing life are so sharp, witty and self-deprecating. I laughed out loud at moments while others were genuinely touching. She writes beautifully whether describing her sometimes crazed attempts to communicate with French builders, her grand plans versus her dwindling budget or her childhood memories of rural Ireland. Now more than ever there must be countless people whose life has been changed by redundancy rather than choice as Fidelma's was. Her reaction, with all the doubts that plagued her, is inspiring. By the end you have a real picture of the people she has met, the places she has seen and the 'hysterical Afghan,' Portia who is the Louise to her Thelma. There's so much more that could be said but perhaps only two words that really matter: READ IT!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 31 July 2009
By Yve
A great book to read on holiday, the writer takes you on board and you ride the roller coaster with her. So good to see someone write of the the real people encountered in their relocation rather than the worn out cliches of the usual 'move to the/another country'. Instead rather, than smug sunsets/self-sufficiency you get the real trials and tribulations that most emigrating pretend don't exist. It's the grit that keeps you batting for her. Lets have more inspirational tales for the not quite so young women! Very enjoyable - hope there is a sequel.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest account of life in France - Buy it!! 29 Jun 2009
Fidelma really tells it like it is. If you have read Peter Mayle and Carol Drinkwater and seethed with envy, you must read this book for a no holds barred account of what it really is like to buy into the French Dream. Fidelma's writing is witty and wry - like the woman herself - this book truely deserves to be a best seller.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars French Leave 9 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Fidelma Cook's French Leave (Or, Yes I'll Have Another Vin Rouge S'il Vous Plait) An excellent read - full of humour and inspiration. I would love an update to see how life is treating her now.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read 6 July 2010
By Franco
Loved the pace and her brilliant descriptions. The only downside I would say was the constant mentioning of her awful, selfish, self absorbed son. There were times when I wanted to put the book down as she tended to go overboard about him but that's a mother's perspective I suppose. Otherwise I would thoroughly recommend it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful stuff from a great writer 2 Feb 2010
By I. Reid
I read this on Boxing Day and couldn't put it down until the end. Laughed out loud often and loved the whole story. Hope Fidelma writes a sequel and, if she does, I'll be the first to buy it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific 16 Jun 2010
I'm a bit of a newcomer to Fidelma's Herald column and it was reading that that inspired me to buy this book. I'm glad I did. I read it in a couple of sittings and as well as observant and entertaining there were times when it was really very poignant too. It can't have been easy starting alll over again as Fidelma did - and doing so alone (save for Portia the dog and her sometimes supportive, sometimes not-so, son!) I hope there's a vol. 2.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 13 Jun 2010
Excellent read, refreshingly honest and realistic, the tales of Ms Cook certainly reflect some of my experiences while living in France. It is one thing to have experiences but it is the talent of someone like Ms Cook who can bring them together to produce such an enjoyable and at times amusing book. Having finished this book, I have been tempted to The Herald to sample further adventures and I look forward to a next volume.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Naturally funny
Funny, true to life, over the top book. Refreshingly frank with many laugh out loud moments. Made for perfect escape reading.
Published 4 months ago by PATRICIA BEALE
3.0 out of 5 stars Tolerable
If you are interested in the 'adventures' of self obsessed jounalists perhaps you might like this, you will learn more about Fidelma than about France.
Published 12 months ago by JOE KERR
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
Enjoy this author's weekly column from France and found the book, which explains the start of her adventure, really entertaining. An excellent writer.
Published 15 months ago by Mrs. M. Jack
5.0 out of 5 stars French Leave. Fidelma Cook
A first class read.I enjoyed reading this book because I found it amusing, witty and honest.
I have read dozens of books on this subject and found most to my... Read more
Published on 13 Sep 2011 by Norman McIntyre
5.0 out of 5 stars A goodie
The author tells of her introduction to life as an expat in France with humour, originality and merciless honesty about herself and those she meets. Read more
Published on 21 Mar 2011 by James Andrew
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
This was a great book. Very fluidly written. Writing style was very natural - like a big, easy conversation. Read more
Published on 7 Jan 2011 by vee
5.0 out of 5 stars French Leave
A funny and gripping book, I found it hard to put down. Would thoroughly recommend to anyone wishing to buy a property in France.
Published on 13 Sep 2010 by Angelina Jacques
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother!
I'm not even half way through this book and I don't know if I can find the will to finish it!
I bought this going by the other reviews and looking forward to reading another,... Read more
Published on 13 Jun 2010 by Polly Pink
1.0 out of 5 stars She should have stayed in Glasgow
This is a blatant attempt to cash in on the jokey books about Brits moving to France.
Ms Cook, is of her own admission, of a certain age. Read more
Published on 7 Jun 2010 by Woodland Worker
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry to disappoint
Sorry but to be honest after having read other glowing reviews I was very disappointed with this read. Read more
Published on 5 Jun 2010 by Mrs. Jane Denham
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