- Audio CD
- Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks; Unabridged Audiobook edition (1 Jun. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 140747698X
- ISBN-13: 978-1407476988
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,656,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Secret Life of France Audio CD – 1 Jun 2011
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Everything you wanted to know about France but were too afraid to ask... At eighteen Lucy Wadham abandoned England and fell into the arms of a Frenchman. Twenty-five years later, having married, had children, and divorced in France, Lucy is perfectly placed to explore the differences between our two countries. Here she examines every aspect of French life - from sex and adultery to money, happiness, race and politics - in this funny and engrossing account of our most intriguing neighbour.
Top Customer Reviews
It moves from some fairly personal passages to other, more sweeping, debates about the nature of France and the French. As others have mentioned there are hundreds, probably thousands, of books written by British people who have moved to France. Many are frankly rather tedious; page after page of how wonderful it all is, and how funny the French are. This book is a bit different.
The author does at least try to understand her new neighbours and acquaintances; helped by the fact that she married a Frenchman, which at least meant she had to integrate to some degree. Although the marriage did not last, she remained in France, and tries to explain why.
The differences between French and British culture are examined, and although you may not always agree with the conclusions, they normally make you think.
Overall, an interesting read; it can only be a personal account, but does not pretend to be anything else.
One small note for any kindle reader who checks the percentage finished at the bottom, I was at about 60% and was completely confused as to how there was another 40% to go, there wasn't! The last 25% is the sources and index. I'm not critisising this, just stating the fact, as it did confuse me a little!
This differs a lot from the usual "Brit quit Blighty to move to a warmer, sunnier country in search of a better life" that are, especially on kindle, ten a penny. For a start the author is a professional writer not somebody out to make a few quid by writing something of the quality that would appear in a blog or in e mails back to family and friends.
The author really gets stuck into the fabric of France, and explains in great detail how the country works, how the people think, and every other aspect of French life.
This is mixed with her own experience of dealing with the French as a foreigner - even though she's lived in France since the 80's and speaks perfect French. There's a great story about her applying for a French national ID card debating with a civil servant that she wasn't an illegal citizen. Since the early 90's a Brit cannot be an illegal citizen in the EU.
+1 on what the other reviewer said re buying this on kindle - the last 25% of the book or so is notes and the index, so the book isn't as "thick" as it appears on your kindle.
A very entertaining and a highly recommended book.
It's a more serious book than I was perhaps expecting, certainly with some humour, but also with a lot detailed discussion of history, politics and France's relationship with her ethnic minorities, and her response to terrorism. Certainly, it will give you some insight into the correct tone to adopt towards your boulanger, but it also deals with other more weighty issues than this.
If I have a criticism it is perhaps that this book doesn't quite catch the diversity of France, based very much on what Wadham experienced in her own circle. For example, she does touch on French rural life, but a more in-depth analysis of the differences between the city-dwellers and the proudly titled French "peasants" is beyond the scope of this book, perhaps understandably, but it is a shame nonetheless.
Definitely worth reading if you love France but find the French rather enigmatic as some light will be shed on the mysterious ways of our Gallic neighbour!
I was intrigued to discover that the media has in general only a limited influence and that the French are not that interested in work for its own sake seeing it as a means to an end. There are some fascinating snippets in this book and if you approach it with an open mind you will find it worth reading.
I found the author's style approachable and interesting though she makes no attempt to simplify her subject matter - which I found refreshing. She quotes many documentary sources to back up what she says, so while this is a personal viewpoint the conclusions she draws are based on verifiable facts. Worth reading I thought.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lucy Wadham explains the French situation in totally lucid, witty and engaging terms. I couldn't put this book down; I learnt some great idiomatic French too.Published 7 months ago by J. Lloyd
A lightweight book. As a Franco-Scot brought up bilingually between two nations and living in a third, I find this book an unsatisfactory and unpleasant mix of naive young-adult... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Very well written. Furthermore Wadham has a deep understanding of a woman's role within French culture. There are so many amusing and thoughtful insights. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Maureen Cooke
This will certainly prove to be the most valuable book I will have read this year, perhaps for several years to come as well. I initially bought, and read it, on kindle. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Mrs. Mary J. L. Kennedy
Hilarious and really informative. I found the description of different approaches to healthcare and education fascinating. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Emily
Lucy Wadham has spent over 30 years in France and can be considered as something of an expert on France and the French. Read morePublished 17 months ago by njl123