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Books set in France? Suggestions welcome!

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Showing 1-25 of 74 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 2 Jul 2012 11:22:41 BDT
A. Newbery says:
Hi all,
I'm going to the Cote d'Azur for my holidays and I want to get in the mood for going. I'm looking at something along the lines of 'Chocolat' - something heartwarming & lovely really as I generally like to read quite dark & serious books. Any suggestions welcome whether fiction or non-fiction. Thanks in advance!

Posted on 2 Jul 2012 11:33:26 BDT
Have you read any of Joanne Harris' other books set in France? They are all good, The Lollipop Shoes, Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters of the Orange and Holy Fools I liked, didn't finish Coastliners but I will try it again at some point. I'm very much looking forward to reading Peaches for Monsieur le Cure.
Deborah Lawrenson The Lantern is set in Provence - it is a good read too.

Posted on 2 Jul 2012 13:06:42 BDT
Huck Flynn says:
Suskind's "Perfume" or the thrillers of Fred Vargas

In reply to an earlier post on 2 Jul 2012 20:48:07 BDT
Last edited by the author on 2 Jul 2012 21:02:35 BDT
gille liath says:
I've never holidayed in the South of France, but if I did I'd want it to be just like Jean De Florette.

(Not the plot, I hasten to say without giving it away; but the ongbience.)

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jul 2012 11:46:11 BDT
A. Newbery says:
Hi Karen,
Thanks for the suggestion. I enjoyed Chocolat but haven't read any others, think I'll look into getting more of hers as I found Chocolat very evocative.
Haven't heard of The Lantern-will definitely check it out :)
Thanks again!

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jul 2012 11:47:05 BDT
A. Newbery says:
Oh yes, loved Perfume. Will look into this Vargas chap. Much obliged!

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jul 2012 11:52:47 BDT
The Lollipop Shoes is a follow up to Chocolat - I recommend you start there, then read 5 Quarters and Blackberry Wine. Holy Fools is set in Medieval times, but still a good read. I love Joanne Harris' books!

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jul 2012 16:56:47 BDT
Hi A
What about some of Kate Mosse's books (no..the other one!) Labrynthe, The Winter Ghosts? I know 'old' literature can be a bit heavy for a summer hol, but I love Maupassant's short stories for their unexpected twists, and of course he was living the French mood! Daisy Waugh wrote a book called Bordeaux Housewives that I really enjoyed reading on hols one year. Cote d'Azur - lucky you...I think the furthest I'll get is Tenby (and that's only if I get my a into gear and book it!!)

Posted on 3 Jul 2012 17:51:21 BDT
Josey Wales says:
Peter Mayle's books are quite good. A Year in Provence is very good

Posted on 3 Jul 2012 18:04:26 BDT
I'd recommend some from 'the archives':

The Rock Pool - Cyril Connolly
Loser Takes All - Graham Greene
A Compass Error - Sybille Bedford

And, although technically not the south of France, seems like Elizabeth Arnim's Enchanted April would invoke the holiday spirit?

Posted on 3 Jul 2012 18:14:12 BDT
Also second the Peter Mayle books, plus Stephen Clarke's 'A Year in the Merde' books are pretty funny (first is the best.)
And there's Rumer Godden's 'Greengage Summer.'

Two detective series I've enjoyed:
Bruno Chief of Police - Martin Walker (this one is more light-hearted)
Jacquot and the Waterman - Martin O'Brian (more serious police procedural, but descriptions of Marseilles and environs are wonderful.)

Posted on 6 Jul 2012 23:22:14 BDT
Sanderae says:
Bonjour Tristesse - set in the South of France - written in the 1950s by a very young writer - short and brilliantly written.

Posted on 7 Jul 2012 00:27:13 BDT
I'll second Martin O'Brien's books, the Jaquot series set in Marseille. Fantastic. Devoured them all!

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Jul 2012 19:00:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 7 Jul 2012 19:02:06 BDT
LEP says:
Susanne O'Leary has written several books set in France e.g. Finding Margo

For chick lit - Queen of Babble - Meg Cabot

Then there's always the Inspector Maigrat (sp?) novels

Posted on 8 Jul 2012 11:48:47 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jul 2012 22:36:39 BDT
Doublell says:
If you Google 'Novels set in France' it comes up with a number of answers.

Posted on 9 Jul 2012 14:27:20 BDT
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Posted on 9 Jul 2012 18:44:55 BDT
The Statement, by Brian Moore. A superior thriller about a Nazi war criminal, based on the real-life case of Paul Touvier.

Posted on 9 Jul 2012 20:28:53 BDT
Dogmatix says:
How about " Charlotte Grey " by Sebastien Faulks, set in wartime France but it does have love and adventure.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Jul 2012 21:41:21 BDT
Devizes64 says:
Try Sasha Faulks's "Loving Amelie". It's not set completely in France but a good part of it is as it tracks an Anglo/French relationship. Highly recommend

Posted on 10 Jul 2012 00:29:25 BDT
T says:
More pop stuff would be Agatha Christie's the Blue Train (Paris to Nice) and do watch mr bean's holiday for a comic version of the same route.

Posted on 10 Jul 2012 04:52:15 BDT
Serena South says:
A Chapel in the Woods by Susan Louineau. I haven't read it myself and it hasn't been very well publicised, but it's got very good reviews!

Posted on 11 Jul 2012 10:03:26 BDT
neverendings says:
Michele Roberts has written a lot of literary novels set in France. My personal recommendations would be Amelie Nothomb ('AntiChrista', 'Book of Proper Names', many more) and of course the classic, Colette (personal favourites 'Gigi', and 'Claudine in Paris').

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 16:22:03 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jul 2012 16:33:42 BDT
LEP says:
Clochemerle - Gabriel Chavallier (village conflict after the local mayor wants to construct a new public toilet opposite the church)

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 16:26:53 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Jul 2012 16:27:45 BDT
LEP says:
The Matchmaker of Perigord - Julia Stuart

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Jul 2012 16:36:16 BDT
LEP says:
Light of the Moon - Luanne Rice (set in the Camargue, good book).
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Initial post:  2 Jul 2012
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