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Tout Soul: The Pursuit of Happiness in Rural France [Kindle Edition]

Karen Wheeler
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (123 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £10.99
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Book Description

A French Memoir. Having quit her fast-paced life as a fashion editor in London for a new life in France, Karen appears to have it all: a cute dog, a charismatic Portuguese
boyfriend and a quirky collection of French and expat friends. But then she makes a discovery that changes everything.

In the year that follows, she decides to cure heartbreak by seeking happiness in small things. But nothing could have prepared her for the tragedy to come...

Tout Soul will make you laugh and make you cry in equal measure.

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Review

...[A]'thought-provoking...Gallic page-turner.' --The Daily Mail

'...some of the sad bits made me cry, but the overall theme of the book is one of love, joy and appreciation of the important things in life. Like friendship, kindness, an adorable dog, a stunning, sunflower-filled landscape and the odd glass or two of champagne.' --Emma Lee-Potter, www.housewithnoname.blogspot.com

'This book was an absolute delight to read, with a wonderful mix of descriptions (both of characters and of the scenery) and proper plot. It reads like a well written novel and yet it is more or less the truth of how this period of Karen's life panned out which makes it even more special.' --Zoe Page, www.thebookbag.co.uk

'Emotional and moving, Tout Soul is written from the heart, so keep the tissues close to hand.' --Vicky Leigh, Living France magazine



'Karen Wheeler weaves a good story with great atmosphere. You will laugh, then cry and then say "aah". A very true experience of life in rural France.' --Sandie George, Living magazine.

'The tone of writing is instantly engaging; from page one you are already on-side and racing through the chapters. However, while her journey is chaotic and funny, it does carry deep messages about how life rarely goes to plan. I suggest you buy the lot because once you've read one [of Wheeler's books] you will want to read them all.' -- --www.britishbeautyblogger.com



'Karen Wheeler weaves a good story with great atmosphere. You will laugh, then cry and then say "aah". A very true experience of life in rural France.' --Sandie George, Living magazine.

'The tone of writing is instantly engaging; from page one you are already on-side and racing through the chapters. However, while her journey is chaotic and funny, it does carry deep messages about how life rarely goes to plan. I suggest you buy the lot because once you've read one [of Wheeler's books] you will want to read them all.' --www.britishbeautyblogger.com

About the Author

Karen Wheeler is the author of the bestselling French travel memoirs, Tout Sweet - Hanging up my High Heels for a New Life in France and Toute Allure: Falling in Love in Rural France. This is the third book in the series.

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More About the Author

Karen Wheeler is an award-winning fashion and beauty journalist and former newspaper Fashion Editor. She studied Modern History at Kings College, London University and worked briefly at Sotheby's art auctioneers before embarking on a career in fashion journalism.

During her career she has interviewed many of fashion's top names including Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld, Giorgio Armani and Calvin Klein. Her work has appeared in the Financial Times, the Mail on Sunday, the Daily Mail and Sunday Times Style.

She has written three books about her life in France and is currently working on a fourth in the series.

She is also the author of 'The Marie Antoinette Diet: Eat Cake and Still Lose Weight', a recipe for weight loss based on the dieting secrets of French women through the ages. Released as an e-book in June 2013, it will be published as a print book in the UK in January 2014.

More information can be found on her blog, www.toutsweet.net and at www.karenwheeler.co.uk. You can also follow her on Twitter: @mimipompom1

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smiles, laughs and...tears... 4 Mar. 2012
By Ann Fairweather TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition
After a long interlude, I was delighted to resume reading about Karen's adventures in her village. In this third volume, aptly named 'Tout Soul' Karen here bares her soul indeed with her typical candid, honest, and endearing manner. If Tout Sweet and Toute Allure were trepidant with joy and fun, there is in this one a much darker tone. As Biff, the little cheerful black dog trutts his way along Karen's side, there is also on another level, a much sadder 'black dog' shadowing Karen's whole world and soul...Yet for all the hard stuff coming up at her, you have to marvel at Karen's resilience and spirit in face of life 's cruel turn...Never losing her keen eye for people's funny aspects of character, most of the book is an absolute delight of highly amusing observations and happenings...But alas, even in a peaceful and lovely french village, tragedy beckons and the second half of the book cannot easily be read without a tissue at hand...After a desperate struggle to find happiness in the midst of loss and grief, Karen manages to gives us an uplifting, beautiful conclusion...In the harsh world of today, no doubt that readers will connect with her efforts and take comfort in her new found peace of mind...
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good title for excellent book 20 Mar. 2012
Format:Paperback
I live in the Poitou-Charentes area and have to say I normally steer away from books that say "I moved to France and....." However, Karen Wheeler's books are far more along the lines of 'A Year in Provence' - and that is meant to be a compliment.
I enjoyed her previous books, but think this is the best one so far. It is not necessary to read the previous books as they are all stand-alone, combining 90% fact with 10% fiction, thus protecting the names of the actual people and villages involved.
The sub-title is "The Pursuit of Happiness in Rural France" and there is a lot of soul-searching throughout the book, mainly due to hearing untrue gossip about loved ones and loss of trust in a friend who lets her down.
However, she weaves a good story with great atmosphere and you can imagine the clatter and noise in the Cafe du Commerce where villagers gather for morning coffee to put the world to rights. We follow her unfortunate love story with Luis throughout the book, but she has lovely characterisations of Delphine, the Mayor of a nearby village, and Magda, the ebullient Portuguese cleaner. One character who remains stable and lovable is Biff, Karen Wheeler's black dog - read about how she 'acquired' him in her previous book "Tout Allure".
I agree with other reviewers - this book will make you laugh, then cry and then say "aaaah". A very true experience of life in rural France so if you want to move here, read this book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finished all too quickly... 22 Mar. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just finished reading Tout Soul. Fabulous, funny and heartbreakingly sad.
So many emotions in one book.
We were on the table next to you on NYE when Biff made a dash for the food.
Then reading about L'Ecurie, which incidentally we thought was OUR discovery, I felt as though
I was reading parts of my diary lol

Can't wait for the next one of your adventures with Biff - the Leader of
the Pack :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
By the time I began reading this third book in the trilogy (which stands alone without the necessity of reading books one or two), I felt that I knew Karen like an old friend. Her descriptions and observations of the people and places surrounding her made me imagine I was living in the same part of rural France as her - trying out the restaurant, sitting at the cafe, the walks with the dog and the village square with its most significant building. The characters come alive too - especially the wonderful Magda, who is more than just the cleaner, and respected Delphine, who is more than just the mayoress. But above all, this is a love story of the highest magnitude - poignant, sad and uplifting in equal measures at each turn of the page. Karen bares her soul like nothing I've read before. I felt privileged to have been allowed to share Karen's most personal thoughts about her dearest friend. A magnetising read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
I waited for the third book by Karen Wheeler in the 'Tout' series with great excitement, having loved the previous two. For those of us who dream of escaping to an idyllic rural corner of France these books are a pure indulgence.
The charcters are quickly familiar, it isn't a book where it takes a while to 'get into'. It feels as if you are involved in the conversations, a gift Karen has to get the reader absorbed.
After the love story of the last Tout book this is a deeper read. Sometimes sad but always life afirming it is one of those rare books you want to race through to see what happens next, yet at the same time savour every word as you don't want it to end.
I don't think that I am giving too much away by saying that Karen's love affair has turned sour and she takes you along with her as she comes to terms with living in the village with Luis. Life is never quite that simple though and there is a big SHOCK just around the corner. It is here that the book becomes much more than just a delightful read.

Tout Soul is a beautiful and witty read and it is easy to empathise and care about each character. Special mention has to go to Magda, a fabulous Portugese single parent, she is a wonderful character.
I love, love , love these books and I don't mind admitting to a gasp and a lump in my throat during one sentence in particular towards the end of this book. If you've read it you will know the sentence I mean......
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad but enjoyable book
I don't know the authors history but seems to be a bio? What a lovely story if a little darker than the others. Looking forward to the next book in July 2015
Published 1 month ago by Sara Cowley-Burgess
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving memoir
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The next in the series of Ms Wheeler's exploits in rural France. An honest and extremely moving memoir.
Published 1 month ago by L. Paley
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book from an excellent author, just as good as 'A toute Allure'!
Published 1 month ago by michele ter-hovanessian
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant read couldn't put it down
Published 2 months ago by Sue Cherrington
5.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable series of three books
third book in series - all lovely to read
Published 2 months ago by lizzy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Superb, couldnt put it down
Published 2 months ago by B R Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars Karen wheeler
This is the third book in the series although stand alone it is better to read the first two and get some understanding of the friends karen found and the mishaps that inevitably... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rae
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost for words.
I've spent the last two days in Karen's world, sharing with her all the sorrows and the joys. I find myself lost for words at the end. Read more
Published 3 months ago by book sponge
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
What an excellent read.
Published 3 months ago by Jennifer
5.0 out of 5 stars couldn't put it down!
I read this book at every possible opportunity, until I reached the end, really enjoyed it, sharing the ups and downs of Karen's love life, it made me laugh out loud and made me... Read more
Published 4 months ago by D
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