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French Spirits Paperback – 3 Mar 2003

5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books (Transworld Publishers a division of the Random House Group) (3 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553814796
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553814798
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 654,717 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

'Anyone who has ever holidayed in France and indulged a daydream of lingering longer will love this' -- The Express

From the Back Cover

When Jeffrey Greene, a prizewinning American poet, and Mary, his wife-to-be, discover a moss-covered stone presbytery in a lovely village in the Puisaye region of Burgundy, they know they have to live there.

French Spirits is the magical tale of their odyssey to become not just homeowners but Burgundians. In lyrical prose, Greene recalls their experiences in turning the 300-year-old stone building - which the locals believe houses numerous spirits - into a habitable refuge. He brings to life their adventures in finding wonderful bargains with which to furnish their new space, including a firm mattress and some rather suspicious 'antiques' bought from the back of a van.

Greene offers the unexpected joys and surprises of village life, from celebrating his and Mary's simple backyard wedding to toiling in a verdant garden. He shares the experience of surviving his mother's decision to move in and humorously introduces the locals - both human and non-human - who define his and Mary's new world. Woven throughout this luscious tale are the pleasures of rural France: wondrous food and wine, long-held rituals and feasts, dark superstitions and deeply rooted history. A memorable feast for the senses, French Spirits will entertain and enlighten all who succumb to its charms.


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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By T R GRANT on 29 Sept. 2003
Format: Paperback
I chose this book as I own a property in France and have read several books about purchases abroad. I found this book tiring to read, and the author spends the first 3 chapters telling us all about his childhood in America and his relatives twice removed! Eventually he starts to tell about his purchase of a property in France - Rogny - But unfortunately he fails to do no more than droll on and on about himself and his mother! The village drunk had the best interest, and I wonder whether he was a drunk before the Author got there. The only reason I finished the book was the cost!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 16 Aug. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I did not like the way it was written, I found it difficult to stay interested. I have read many books on buying houses and living in France, as I have done so myself. This book however was terrible (for me) I'm not sure what it was about the book, style of writting, Americanisms! I don't know, I got frustrated and put it in the bin. I then took it out and tried again, I tried skipping bits about quotes and books by others that had nothing to do with the subjuct of buying/living in France ........ Then BINNED it for good. Sorry but not a good read for me.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By MR BARRY KEMP on 11 Feb. 2004
Format: Paperback
I found this a very gentle book to read. It meanders through the authors trials and tribulations in restoring an old presbytery, liberally interspersed with information on his background and 'other' life as an academic. I felt that the final chapter did not have the same tranquility as the others, perhaps he needed to complete swiftly. What shines through the whole book is his love for his wife, the strength of his friendship with various characters in the village, the love of his old presbytery and his contentment with his lot. A lovely read
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By terry prue on 4 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Did not know wether or not i would enjoy this book and to be truthful i was not overly impressed.If anything i found it rather boring in parts.Not one of my favorite reads.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Tamianne on 17 Jan. 2008
Format: Paperback
I read this book whilst on holiday at my parents' house in Burgundy and found it very atmospheric and relaxing.

His descriptions of Burgundy in winter are beautifully and poetically written as well as authentic. I also like the way he talks about his family and its history as they give the book another element in addition to the story about building a life in France.

I highly recommend this if you want a gentle but also interesting read.
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