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French Leave [Kindle Edition]

Liz Ryan
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
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Book Description

It was when she realised she was spending twelve hours a week and five thousand euro a year commuting to work that Liz Ryan began to question how great life in boom-time Ireland really was – and reached a decision the day an enraged biker hurled a helmet at her windscreen. So she quit her job, sold her house and moved to a remote hamlet in coastal Normandy. Thus begins her French adventure, in which she gets picked up by the police, discovers the mixed pleasures of French homeownership – flooded basements, grim neighbours, surreal phone companies, busybody mayors – and embraces the challenges of creating a new life in a new country. Liz hilariously charts her gradual immersion into village life, the setbacks and the joys, the local political intrigue, the Gallic shrug and that famous French bureaucracy – and paradoxical French attitudes to food, politics, sport, dating, and shopping on the grand scale. But like any expat, even as she revels in new pleasures she also experiences the tug-of-war between fresh fields and the place of one’s birth, the craic, the humour and the warm embrace of lifelong friends.

Product Description


This book is her hilarious memoir of all that invariably does go wrong. From flooded basements, to busybody mayors and the famous French bureaucracy, it's all there. --U Magazine

If your job has gone from under you and the emigration boat is calling, this is a warming book to read -- showing that there are other realities and kinder places. --Lucille Redmond, Evening Herald

She spins a good yarn ... it is all well told and amusing although there is a serious story underneath it all --Books Ireland

As a manual for the would-be emigrant to la belle France, you could hardly find better. And for the many who dream of it, but know they are never likely to be able to do it, this is the ideal generator of dreams. Highly recommended. --Tuam Herald

About the Author

Liz Ryan is the author of seven novels and a freelance journalist for several publications. Originally a teacher from Dublin, she moved to France in 2001 in order to write fulltime, beat the traffic, become a pedant, go to the movies in the mornings, enjoy fabulous food, walk five thousand kilometres and spend a scandalous amount of time at the beach. Her next major project is to write a work of profound and startling wisdom, preferably dictated from the yacht of the producer who has secured the film rights to all her novels.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 587 KB
  • Print Length: 315 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1907593136
  • Publisher: Liberties Press (15 April 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1909718106
  • ISBN-13: 978-1909718104
  • ASIN: B00C8X7348
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #78,730 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I was really sold on Normandy after reading this 13 April 2014
By Joodle
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was extremely well written and written with honesty and feeling. Liz is against consumerism in a big way once she moves to France and has to live on a budget. A very refreshing read and I enjoyed it so much I didn't get much else done this weekend. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences - move over Peter Mayle!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fed up of her fast-paced life in Dublin, writer Liz set off to seek out the quiet life on a windy plateau in Normandy and after ten years she has experienced the best and worst France has to offer. From sun-kissed summers spent on the beaches, to delicious food festivals that had her guests salivating at the delights on offer, to dodgy mechanics out to make a fast buck when a single foreign woman arrives on their forecourt, to TGV’s disrupted by strikes and suicides and more than one run-in with the local police! She combines all her experiences in a humorous account that often had me laughing and nodding in agreement at her observations.

Her chapter on learning the language was particularly brilliant, I felt she had her finger on the pulse of French culture and politics (more so than most) and she is one of very few people who have ever successfully encouraged me to watch more French TV. She writes with passion and truth and although I didn’t agree with everything it felt OK to have our differences.

This is a fast paced read, like the conversation that flows at breakneck speed from the mouths of my Irish cousins, fun, but sometimes a little too fast for me. It wasn’t a book that I couldn’t put down, rather one that I needed regular rests from to catch my breath, but certainly a book worth reading - maybe I’ve just been living the slow rural life for too long?

If you’ve made the move to France, I think you will enjoy her experiences and probably learn something too (I did). If you want to make the move, I think you should read this book and take notes. If you just enjoy the dream of France and like being entertained by memoirs like this, you will be able to have a laugh, (mostly at the expense of those of us who have made the move).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 30 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As an expat I enjoyed reading this book, it was very similar to the experiences we have had over the last 12 years living ibn Portugal.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable 13 Sept. 2014
By L A
Format:Kindle Edition
I have thoroughly enjoyed this book, the author gives an excellent narrative of her life in France in an amusing way. I understood her comparisons between the two countries, having had an Irish side to the family and now acquiring French connections. I chose the book to read when I went to France in the summer but began it a few weeks ago in the UK. Will there be a sequel?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tres tres bien 25 April 2014
By Gabby
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm a big fan of books set in France, non-fiction and fiction (Weak at the Knees) and I really enjoyed Liz Ryan's account. It made me smile and was true to home - the French bureaucracy and mannerisms, all cliche but true! Whether you're planning a move across the Channel or just love hearing about others who've done it, this is for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read 2 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
moving over to France at the end of the month and it made me not so apprehensive. Loved it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars interesting 17 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Interesting, realistic view. Read if you are thinking of moving to France, funny whilst pointing out the highlights and frustrations
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5.0 out of 5 stars good, interesting read 16 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I liked this book as it showed what it is really like living in France, warts and all. Both the good and the bad. I didn't want it to end and one want to find out if Liz stayed in France or went back to Ireland. Loved it all.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Living in France
Excellent book, well and amusingly written and a joy to read!
Published 2 months ago by Ken Thistleton
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling read
All the highs and lows of living in France (I have lived here for 18 years) are excellently put into words. Very good read. Felt sad to have finished the book.
Published 2 months ago by bavvy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Loved this book. V well written and evokes so many French memories!
Published 3 months ago by CP
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyable, lighthearted read.
Published 3 months ago by Anne
1.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea.
What a bore. No story-line, no excitement. I kept waiting for something interesting to happen. Sorry, just not my cup of tea.
Published 3 months ago by LizF
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good as advertised +++++++
Published 6 months ago by Mr AK Versey
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining if you are France regular
A fairly entertaining read especially if like me you spend time in France. Not a ground breaking read but easy going.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Comme ci, comme ca
It was amusing, but maybe as I have lived in France. I don't know got a bit bored by it.
Published 8 months ago by Pris
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect holiday read.
I really enjoyed this book. I have no plans whatsoever to go and live abroad but the author makes a very good job of telling her story. Interesting and amusing. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ian S
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