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A House in the Sunflowers: An English Family's Search for Their Dream House in France Paperback – 19 Feb 1997
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Reissues of actress and singer Ruth Silvestre's story of her love affair with her dream house in south-west France, chronicling the friendships that she and her family formed during the gradual restoration of their once derelict farmhouse and the local festivities, described with natural joie de vivre.
In 1976, in the Lot-et-Garonne region of south-west France, Ruth Silvestre and her family found Bel-Air de Grezelongue, a house that had been uninhabited for 10 years. This is the story of their love affair with that house and the surrounding community.See all Product description
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This is the first book in The Sunflower Trilogy and tells the story of Ruth and her family finding Bel-Air de Grèzelongue in the Lot-et-Garonne and despite it being unloved and uninhabited for ten years, to them it was the perfect house in France. Their story is very different to many similar memoirs, mainly because they bought their holiday home in the 1970's. A time when there was no local expat network offering help and advice, just them and their French neighbours and the special friendship that grew over the years.
Ruth writes with fondness about the way their neighbours at the working farm down the lane did their best to welcome the strange newcomers and became good friends, including them in family celebrations, local events and inviting them to help with the harvests, all of which helped integrate them into the community. There was lots of work to do on the house, so their time spent on holidays in France was busy and sometimes stressful, but they were always happy to be back in their new French community.
Ruth generously shares their many new experiences and insights into the French culture in an engaging way. I read this book shortly after our move to France and I can't tell you how comforting it was to read it during our `settling in years'. I have read many move to France memoirs, before and after moving, but these three books by Ruth will always be very special to me. See also A Harvest of Sunflowers (The Sunflowers Trilogy) and Reflections of Sunflowers (The Sunflowers Trilogy).
From the first page of this booked I was hooked and didn't want to put it down until I had finished it.
The descriptions of the house and journey of renovating( as my husband and I are doing in Southern Spain) took me back 10 years to when we first started!!
I also found the stories behind the letters found by Ruth absorbing!!
We are actually going on holiday to France this summer not far from Agen!
I so look forward to reading the other books at some time!!!The descriptions of all the food had my mouth watering!!!!
A delightful surprise!