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4.2 out of 5 stars57
4.2 out of 5 stars
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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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on 20 January 2014
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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on 27 December 2015
I have a house in France and spend most of the year living there, the rest in the UK, so I read novels about living in France with interest.
This book was very well written and avoided the exaggerated cliches about French people which many similar books often resort to.
I identified with Laura Bradbury's feelings about life, the fears, the questioning of doing mad things etc - so refreshing to read. Thank you Laura, I had to read your other 2 books straight away.
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on 20 December 2015
I loved escaping into this entertaining tale of life and home renovation in Burgundy! Laura is a gifted writer, and she told her story with humour and insight. As one who has read many books of people's experiences living in France, the Grape Series stands head and shoulders above the rest.
I would highly recommend ALL of her books, start with the first one (My Grape Year), and you will be hooked!
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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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on 8 October 2015
Well written, honest book. I am heading straight for the next one. The author deals with strong feelings of anxiety and the embarrassment of owning those feelings in such a way that we can all identify with those moments of panic and doubt. The way she writes about the area clearly shows her love of Burgundy. More please!
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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 19 October 2015
well written, though I'd love a little more action at the plot. Beautifully described characters, it transfer you into their rural French kitchen where every problem gets solved around a bottle of precious wine.
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on 15 December 2015
This is the first of the Grape series that I read and I was hooked straight away! I have lived in France for a few years and could relate to a lot of Laura's experiences. It made me want to live there again!
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