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A House in the Sunflowers: An English Family's Search for Their Dream House in France (The Sunflowers Trilogy)
 
 

A House in the Sunflowers: An English Family's Search for Their Dream House in France (The Sunflowers Trilogy) [Kindle Edition]

Ruth Silvestre , Michael Grater , Michael Gater
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description

Review

'Exuberantly detailed account of buying a house in Lot-et-Garonne and mucking in with the peasantry...the author's great merit is that she makes us accept it on such enchanting terms' The Observer

Product Description

In the late 1970s in the south-west of France, Ruth Silvestre and her family found Bel-Air de Grèzelongue, a house that had been deserted and uninhabited for ten years. They fell in love with it.

A House in the Sunflowers tells of their love affair with the house; from the ups and downs of buying and renovating it, to the challenge of becoming part of the local French community. Sprinkled with mouth-watering descriptions of gastronomic feasts in the glorious sunshine, and fascinating insights into the history and customs of this stunning area, this charming, funny and romantic book is an absolute must for everyone who wants to fulfil their dreams of living abroad.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3425 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Allison & Busby (25 Nov 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FO82QFK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #42,503 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Someone else on the Mayle Trail 18 April 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
It seems as though there are ten-times as many books about people moving to France as there are French départements but Ruth Silvestre's is a cut above the many which peddle nothing but barely amusing stories about builders and the lasting effects of too much French hospitality. There's a warmth in this book, a genuine affection for her neighbours and their odd ways, and a real sense of the history of the place. It may have been written about events which took place thirty years ago but the hidden treasures of France barely change and I look forward to reading the sequel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I bought the first book in the Trilogy based mainly on the 5* reviews. As soon as I was a few pages into it, I ordered the other two.

I asked myself initially how it would be possible for a person, specifically Ruth, to write three books based on every day happenings and to hold the attention of the reader.

She did and she did it superbly.

So many of the wonderful and unexpected experiences we have enjoyed in the four years we have lived here, and are continuing to enjoy, are so similar. Nothing sentimental about these books as some critics imply, they are based on fact and are real. Just wish that there was a 4th book in the offing. For those who genuinely want to feel happy and settled in La Belle France, these books provide the 'how to'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book you will want to read again 22 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read the paperback version of this book many years ago and was so pleased to see it brought to kindle that I had to buy it and read it again. Second time around it didn't disappoint and I have read many similar books (some good, some not so) since my first read of A House in the Sunflowers.

This is the first book in The Sunflower Trilogy and tells the story of Ruth and her family finding Bel-Air de Grèzelongue in the Lot-et-Garonne and despite it being unloved and uninhabited for ten years, to them it was the perfect house in France. Their story is very different to many similar memoirs, mainly because they bought their holiday home in the 1970's. A time when there was no local expat network offering help and advice, just them and their French neighbours and the special friendship that grew over the years.

Ruth writes with fondness about the way their neighbours at the working farm down the lane did their best to welcome the strange newcomers and became good friends, including them in family celebrations, local events and inviting them to help with the harvests, all of which helped integrate them into the community. There was lots of work to do on the house, so their time spent on holidays in France was busy and sometimes stressful, but they were always happy to be back in their new French community.

Ruth generously shares their many new experiences and insights into the French culture in an engaging way. I read this book shortly after our move to France and I can't tell you how comforting it was to read it during our `settling in years'. I have read many move to France memoirs, before and after moving, but these three books by Ruth will always be very special to me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A house in the Sunflowers. 18 Dec 2013
By Cuechip
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A brilliant story of setting up home in the heart of France. I cant wait to read the other books. You are transported into the the French countryside and partake of the meals shared with their farmer neighbours. Tales of the various harvests. Grape, potato and plum which the family took part in made me wish to be there too.
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33 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully easy read 22 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is actually a sequel and continues the story of Ruth and her family's ownership of a second home in Lot-et-Garonne. The book covers a number of summers, with their gradual updating of the house, building a swimming pool, and many friends who visit. It's very easy read and leaves you with a positive attitude about aspects of French life.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book full of sunshine 6 May 2003
Format:Paperback
I read this book approx ten years ago and was struck by the triumph over adversity. For people contemplating buying in France I would suggest that this is a good book for possible enlightment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rose tinted spectacles?! 23 Feb 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A gastronomic account of life en France, almost too perfect in fact, but a pleasant read and escapism from the British winter of 2014!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Annie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book because it showed how much more enjoyable life in France is if you become part of the community. A home in France is lovely but being able to speak to neighbours makes it a much better experience.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
too much written in French.
Published 7 days ago by ruby
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
Made me very jealous and wished we'd taken the plunge years ago.
Published 12 days ago by Mrs C Silvester
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous series of books
I came across these books by accident, and after reading the first one i bought the other tale. The author takes us on a lovely journey with her family across the years. Read more
Published 1 month ago by London Girl
4.0 out of 5 stars four & 1/2 stars (I didn't know how to do 1/2)
I liked that the book was true; I don't read enough nonfiction. I would recommend that readers know some French, as not all phrases are translated.
Published 2 months ago by Scarlett
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful surprise!
Having fallen in love with rural France during many wonderful holidays,and having sampled several of the many post Peter Mayle stories of buying a property in France, I was... Read more
Published 2 months ago by A W HOPES
5.0 out of 5 stars Only just discovered this trilogy, but so glad we have!
Enjoyed reading this while sitting in the sunshine outside our 'petite maison' in Brittany, that we have renovated over the last 20 years and can relate to so many of the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Micki and John
2.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable read but over too soon!
As a non French speaker I could not understand much of the French writing. I would have enjoyed it better if there had been translation included. Read more
Published 2 months ago by D. A. Strachan
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book, very enjoyable and well written.
An absolutely beautiful book. Very entertaining, very well written and thoroughly enjoyable. My only complaint, and the reason for 4 stars instead of 5, is there were frequent... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Cats Whiskers
5.0 out of 5 stars stands out among the many examples of this genre
I have lost count of the number of books I have read describing Brits who buy up old ruins in France/Spain/Italy, do them up and move in. Read more
Published 3 months ago by tangerina
4.0 out of 5 stars A gentle read - but I found it very interesting.
I liked this book, it was well written and very descriptive to enable the reader to visualise the house, the countryside and the people. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Lucy Sport
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