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49 Reviews
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3 star:
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Someone else on the Mayle Trail
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...
Published on 18 April 2003

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book full of sunshine
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.
Published on 6 May 2003 by L. J. Hardy


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5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous series of books, 4 Jun 2014
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This review is from: A House in the Sunflowers: An English Family's Search for Their Dream House in France (The Sunflowers Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
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.
It is told very well and i didn't want the books to end. Do get them all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars four & 1/2 stars (I didn't know how to do 1/2), 10 May 2014
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This review is from: A House in the Sunflowers: An English Family's Search for Their Dream House in France (The Sunflowers Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful surprise!, 2 May 2014
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This review is from: A House in the Sunflowers: An English Family's Search for Their Dream House in France (The Sunflowers Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
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 delighted to be proved wrong in my assumption that they were all inferior and much-of-a-muchness, when I recently came across Ruth Silvestre's well-written trilogy. Her account of her family's experiences in renovating a derelict house and making it a home, together with their ever-deepening love affair with rural France and the lasting friendships they forged, is written with warmth and engaging appreciation of a different culture and way of life. Her descriptions of the countryside and the flora and fauna bring them vividly to life in the mind's eye; and her accounts of the meals are mouth-watering.
A delightful surprise!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Only just discovered this trilogy, but so glad we have!, 21 April 2014
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This review is from: A House in the Sunflowers: An English Family's Search for Their Dream House in France (The Sunflowers Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
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 anecdotes.
Having toured much of this part of France in recent years, we felt that Ruth Silvestre really captured the essence of the area.
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2.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable read but over too soon!, 15 April 2014
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D. A. Strachan (leicestershire G B) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A House in the Sunflowers: An English Family's Search for Their Dream House in France (The Sunflowers Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
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. Or maybe I just need to learn French!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book, very enjoyable and well written., 12 April 2014
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This review is from: A House in the Sunflowers: An English Family's Search for Their Dream House in France (The Sunflowers Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
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 quotes/ comments in French which mostly had no translation. Sometimes I could get the gist of what had been said from the subject being discussed but more often I had no idea what had been said (even a translation in an appendix if the author felt that it would slow the pace of the story). Despite this, I have bought the other 2 books in the trilogy and am looking forward to reading them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars stands out among the many examples of this genre, 7 April 2014
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This review is from: A House in the Sunflowers: An English Family's Search for Their Dream House in France (The Sunflowers Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
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. I enjoyed this one much more than most of the others. Partly because Silvestre seems to have more empathy than others for the local inhabitants; she looks outwards when many others have tended to turn their narratives of moving to the sun into voyages of self-exploration. She writes with real love and sympathy for a disappearing way of life, really brings her characters to life, and captures details of nature and daily life in a memorable and charming way. I also very much enjoyed the passages exploring the life of previous inhabitants of the place via old letters, etc - it seems satisfying that these people who lived their own honest country lives in obscurity are now remembered through Silvestre's books. My only complaint is about quite a number of errors in the bits of French scattered here and there. But this is a small point. I am now off to start reading the second in the series!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A gentle read - but I found it very interesting., 3 April 2014
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Lucy Sport "Caroller" (Broughton Astley, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A House in the Sunflowers: An English Family's Search for Their Dream House in France (The Sunflowers Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
I liked this book, it was well written and very descriptive to enable the reader to visualise the house, the countryside and the people. The story of their journey from finding the house through various seasons and difficulties was fascinating.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely read, 27 Mar 2014
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This review is from: A House in the Sunflowers: An English Family's Search for Their Dream House in France (The Sunflowers Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
I am currently on the third book and my wife has just started them all again, well written, informative and a lovely story over a long period of time. We hope to have neighbours as good as theirs when we move.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Book for francophiles., 23 Mar 2014
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This review is from: A House in the Sunflowers: An English Family's Search for Their Dream House in France (The Sunflowers Trilogy) (Kindle Edition)
If you love France and its countryside, people, food and way of life you should read this relaxing and enjoyable book.
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