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4.2 out of 5 stars
My Grape Escape
Format: Kindle EditionChange
Price:£2.82
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 23 July 2014
This is not an "ex-pat" book for people wanting to finance their purchases in France. I was surprised by the review that described Laura and Franck as "rich" - don't think that person could have read the book at all.

I loved this book and enjoyed the quality of the writing. More than that I loved the interspersed spiritual references as well as descriptions of how one can make difficult choices and turn them into opportunities. i am so glad for Laura and Franck that they followed their hearts and created a business in Burgundy which respected the local culture. How boring would Laura's book have been if she had chosen the route of becoming a solicitor in London ... I can thoroughly recommend this book.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
This is a book with a beautiful cover that really invites you in to experience a slice of Burgundian life.

French Franck and Canadian Laura were newlywed's on a short break with Franck's family in the village he grew up in when life threw them an opportunity that they embraced with gusto. This book tells the first part of the story of their life and renovations in Burgundy, France.

Laura is a planner and had meticulously planned her life out, worked hard for a law degree at Oxford and was preparing to continue studying for her MA. Franck is her support, having followed her from France to Oxford and Canada, he was happy if she was happy. However, the plans she had set for herself were making her very stressed and she had forgotten what happiness felt like. They needed an escape plan, somewhere to put down roots, a project they could invest in and hopefully make money from in the future. When they find a dream property close to Franck's family giving them the perfect investment project and a potential rental business, what could possibly go wrong?

Laura writes a very readable, honest account of their renovation project with great character descriptions of their friends and family members, little snippets of Burgundian life including impromptu aperos, celebrations and delicious descriptions of the local food. I also loved the chemistry between Laura and Franck, she could be anxious, panicky and full of worry, but he was calm, strong and always had great faith in the Virgin Mary who watches over his family and now their new house. Despite being local to the area they still had major issues with unscrupulous people they met along the way and administrative cock-ups that were seriously off the scale. Laura's writing was open and really made me feel included in what was going on, so much so I felt myself crossing my fingers whilst reading in the hope it would help them meet the deadlines they set themselves.

Thank you Laura for sending me a copy of your book to read and review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2014
An ok experience, and reasonably written. But, been there before, got the t-shirt? Look at Driving Over Lemons.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 20 December 2013
Like so many other Belgians, I mainly knew Burgundy as the region in France (with the good wines) that we pass when we drive south during summer holidays.
After reading My Grape Escape I definitely want to spend some time in Burgundy (and try "la cuisine locale").
I really enjoyed reading the book. Every chapter made me smile. The persons described in the book are real life characters, who made me rethink on what is really important in my life.
I'm looking forward to Laura's next book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 December 2013
What a great book to escape into! Laura has a natural story telling knack. She conjures up perfectly the French approach to both renovations, food, wine & family life in general-the French are more laid back than most. Laura paints the perfect picture of the Burgundian countryside, beautiful vineyards and wine houses of Aloxe Corton and Pernand-Vergelesses, Nuits St. Georges, Hautes Côtes de Nuits and Hautes Côtes de Beaune--I can taste the wine! Burgundy is truly beautiful and I felt transported to those magical places described in the book - who wouldn't want to live there, or visit? I'd love any opportunity to sit, sip and savour!

I can identify with Laura's dilemmas as a Canadian or a Brit, the different approach to things like renovations versus the French. So "to be forewarned is to be forearmed". Thanks for those "little" gifts Laura, especially differentiating "what is urgent versus *important!*".

This book reinforces, inspires and re-motivates one to follow one's dreams, which can become plans. But, also as women, to listen carefully to our intuition. If we could bottle and sell it we might be more easily transported to where we really want to be!
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on 31 July 2014
I read this book between book group choices & was charmed & amused by it. The author's honesty about her incapacitating panic attacks was well described. I couldn't quite get to grips with the paucity of cash to renovate the house yet they were constantly drinking good wines & eating good food!
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on 21 September 2014
It was a joy to see the path of personal turmoil become calmed by pursuit of a dream and a labour of love.
Enriched and enhanced by the annotations about French life and characteristics of the culture.
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on 25 July 2014
I enjoyed this book although I did think it tailed off at the end and left the reader a bit suspended. However I did enjoy the ways all the problems were ironed out though the finances were a bit sketchy.
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on 7 June 2015
As a dedicated Francophile and someone interested in property renovation, I found this a great read. It also chimes with my experiences of living in France. Highly recommended
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on 24 January 2015
I just loved this book. Being a Francophile I enjoyed the feeling of being there with Laura and her family. Thank you for a most enjoyable read. The food sounded good too!
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