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Tout Soul: The Pursuit of Happiness in Rural France
 
 

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

Karen Wheeler
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £10.99
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Product Description

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

'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

Product 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.

Product details


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
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smiles, laughs and...tears... 4 Mar 2012
By Ann Fairweather TOP 1000 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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11 of 11 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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4 of 4 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Not soppy 4 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was very suspicious of this book to start with as I am allergic to 'chick lit' and deliberately chose only to read the last one in the series as it looked the least 'gushing' from the reviews. I did really enjoy it and appreciated the serious side of the book as well as the earlier comedy. I have always fantasised about living in France so it was a nice indulgence for me. Read it on my kindle to avoid having to expose my proclivities to my husband, but ended up telling him about it as I enjoyed it so much!
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing rollercoaster 12 April 2013
By Walkers
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Oh, I am really sad I've finished all 3 books, but at least I was able to read them together, one after another! BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN and so well described! I don't want to spoil anything
but this last book is a real rollercoaster! Thank Thankfully I

Had
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Soul warming.... 5 April 2013
Format:Paperback
Reading these books on my daily commute into London made every delay worthwhile! Not quite sure how I'll manage now...
Roll on book 4!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tout Soul 18 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have just finished reading all 3 of Karen wheelers books back to back, I couldn't put them down, she made me laugh,smile and cry, every year we holiday in rural France and she describes living there just how I imagine it to be. The added bonus of Luis the lion and Bif the dog and all of the friends she makes along the way makes for excellent comfy reading
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for those who hanker after a place in the ...
Great for those who hanker after a place in the sun, or have one that they can't spend enough time in.
Published 4 days ago by light reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
I have just finished the 3 books by Karen Wheeler and enjoyed all of them ,but I think this is the best . Read more
Published 10 days ago by Sally Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars Have so enjoyed the 3 books.
All three books are so well written, one is transported.
Look forward to the next book. Would love to visit the
village in France, sounds like La Souteraine.
Published 28 days ago by Great boy Benson
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest account of a difficult time
Life, wherever you live, doesn’t always give you sunny courtyards and glasses of rosé wine and this book is an honest, but very readable account of a difficult time in... Read more
Published 2 months ago by FrenchVillageDiaries
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning writing amongst unexpected sadness and tragedy
Enjoyed the frivolity of the previous books but this concluding book in the trilogy was incredibly sad.
Thought provoking read
.
Published 2 months ago by LYNNE MILLARD
1.0 out of 5 stars Dreadful
Self indulgent nonsense, and a waste of my time in reading it. However interested you are in French life, don't bother with this self-therapy.
Published 4 months ago by Ms R Telford
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice book
Bought this for a holiday read and it didn't disappoint I have since bought other books by this author to enjoy
Published 4 months ago by George Eliot
1.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing and self indulgent
I quite enjoyed the first Tout book but hoped the author might overcome her personal problems by moving to France. The second, i read the sample but did not want to buy. Read more
Published 7 months ago by French reader
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy Read
I had already read Tout Sweet and bought Tout Soul on the back of that. I must admit to be a little addicted to books about life in France but I did enjoy this read which could... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Francophile
5.0 out of 5 stars A great summer read
One of a trilogy of books about starting a new life in France. I recommend you buy all 3 as you will really need to know the whole story.
Published 8 months ago by Susan B. Steel
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the most important thing, the sum of your existence, is what you bring to the lives of others. &quote;
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happiness, I have realised, is to accept both with good grace. A life without pain and suffering is a life not fully lived. It is the bad times that make it possible to appreciate the good. &quote;
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you just don’t know where the alternative path might have taken you, but you might have liked &quote;
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