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The Parisian's Return: Fogas Chronicles 2 Paperback – 26 Apr 2012

4.8 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (26 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144472147X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1444721478
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 2.1 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 130,837 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born with a wanderlust that keeps her moving, Julia Stagg has followed her restless feet to Japan, Australia, the USA and France. She has spent the majority of her time as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language but has also dabbled in bookselling, pawnbroking, waitressing and was once 'checkout-chick' of the month at a supermarket in South Australia.

In 2004, a love of cycling and the mountains, combined with a strange desire to take on a business she knew nothing about, saw her move to the Ariège-Pyrenees region of France with her husband. For the next six years they ran a small Auberge and restaurant, learnt French the hard way and discovered that they could spend lots of time together without killing each other. Over the years running the Auberge, the inhabitants of Fogas began to shape themselves in her mind. While Julia was hanging out yet another load of washing, Annie Estaque would lean over and rasp in her ear, warning about a change in the weather. While she was frantically trying to prepare food for twenty, Christian Dupuy would be in the background grumbling about his mother's inability to produce a meal for two. And as she served pastis to tourists at the bar, Mayor Serge Papon would be watching with a sharp eye as he drained his own glass of the opaque liquid.

Before long their stories began to take form and in between hectic summer seasons, Julia managed to sneak the time to get them down on paper. And in doing so, the commune of Fogas came to life, inhabited by people who are purely fictional but dominated by a stunning landscape that is grounded in fact.

For more information about Julia Stagg and her books, visit or follow Julia on Twitter @juliastagg.

Product Description


A humorous insight into French living (Tatler Ireland)

Praise for L'AUBERGE:
'Following in the footsteps of "Chocolat", this is an ideal holiday read.'


'Entertaining drama in small-town France.' Best new paperbacks (Woman and Home)

Book Description

Further tales of village life in the French Pyrenees. A Parisian comes to Fogas to modernise the village shop and it is baguettes at dawn!

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This 2nd book following directly on from the celebtations in the first is absolutely superb.
Julia has again created a gripping story that is far more meaty than the first and gripping to the very end but with old characters taken further down the lane. In this book we learn far more about the local area, its inhabitants and the twisting roads and precipices in the area. I feel very fond of all the characters now and in particular the ghost who is an unusual character that cares deeply for his village and the people in it and who will do whatever he can to make sure all are safe and happy.

The newcomer to the village - a boy that spent his summers there - appears one day from paris - totally unannounced adn unexpected and mayhem [of a village nature] is the result with many changes developing in the narrative.

The commune of Fogas is deeply in my heart and I look forward to reading the next episode of village life. Plus learned loads in this book as I now know which wine to look out for, what the superb handmade knives are called and what they are used for and far more about French succession laws too! Looking forward to popping into the auberge, the epicerie and bar again very soon. Great stuff. Good read Julia - keep it up and looking forward to reading the next one.
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This book continues on immediately where L'Auberge finishes. I liked that it did this; firstly as all my favourite characters are still there and secondly because there was so much more I wanted to know about life in the village. It is all change in Fogas as the focus shifts off Paul and Lorna (the owners of the auberge) and almost immediately we meet a new character `Le Parisian' and to say things don't go to plan for him straight away is a bit of an understatement. His presence is not initially welcome, especially as he wants to make changes. Change is often difficult to accept and especially so when it happens in the heart of the village at the bar/epicerie. It takes the locals some getting used to, although little by little he gains their respect. Things are also changing for Stephanie, as she tries to get her new business off the ground, but with the distractions of a bit of love interest and a few mysterious happenings, things don't go to plan for her either. The other new character makes a much more understated entrance into the village, but is no less integral to the story.

I found there to be a greater sense of community in this book than in the first, with less `political' bickering (which I know to be a common element in French village life). There is a real pulling together, especially at the end when there is drama and a real danger threatens the safety of some of them. French village life may not have the excitement of city life, but there is never a dull moment in Julia's village. I can't wait to get back to Fogas and read book three, to be published next year. Same village, same characters, but someone else's story to be told.
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This is the sequel to L'Auberge but the focus has moved from the inn to the village shop. Josette's dead husband's nephew has left his high flying, number crunching job in Paris, to take over the village shop. Under France's very complicated inheritance laws, because the shop is a family business, he inherits two-thirds to Josette's third. This comes as a surprise and shock to everyone in the village.

The book opens when Stephanie, who works part time at the shop, surprises what she thinks is an intruder and knocks him out with a stale baguette. The intruder is Fabian, the Parisian nephew, who makes it very clear that things are going to change. This causes Josette a great sadness because a lot of what he suggests are things that she had wanted to do but her husband had resisted. Her heartache is increased because Jacques maintains a silent, ghostly presence by the inglenook fireplace and makes his feelings very clear.

This may sound too whimsical by half, but there is a parallel story unfolding that is not in the least fey. A series of accidents, some near fatal, starts occurring. Some are true accidents, but it eventually emerges that some are not and that a member of the village is under serious threat.

Village life weaves its way around these two strands with humour and sadness until a climax is reached and most issues are resolved (but not all).

This is a more robust book than L'Auberge. The picture of French village life is lovingly portrayed, but the realities of survival in a rural community are not ignored and, where called for, there are scenes of violence which are graphic and realistic. It is well constructed and the characters are engaging so that you care what happens to them. The villain is vicious and frightening and does real damage.
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Once again we meet the inhabitants of Fogas commune in this fantastic sequel to L'Auberge.
This time our eyes are on Stephanie and Chloe - and the Parisian interloper Fabian,nephew of Josette and the late Jaques.
From their first meeting - during which Stephanie knocks Fabian unconscious with a stale baguette the sparks(or should I say crumbs) fly between them. By the time that Fabian rescues Stephanie and Chloe from the very real - and very well observed danger- from her abusive and obsessive ex-husband - we see their relationship grow and flourish in the quiet back water of eccentricity that is Fogas
The gentle French baiting that characterised the first book is still present...Rene the plumber,now accepts that Lorna the English inn keeper can cook .....but there MUST be some French ancestry somewhere to explain that anomaly !
This time it left to Paul(Lorna's husband) to stun his French friends into silence with some well chosen lines of Shakepeare..."Who knew the English knew so much about love !?!"
As joyously funny as it's predecessor, Julia Stagg's talent for human observation and zingy one(or two)liners make this book an absolute delight to read.
Definately not to be missed by those who enjoyed the first book, and roll on the next installment - because I cannot wait to see how the commune copes with organic farming ,and the potential loss of its Post Office
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