- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing (20 Mar. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1857885066
- ISBN-13: 978-1857885064
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.9 x 22 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,741,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Summer In Gascony: The Other South of France: Discovering the Other South of France Paperback – 20 Mar 2008
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Nostalgia for a traditional France, soused in Armagnac, sunshine and young love, brought vividly to life. --John Mole, author of It's All Greek to Me!
Entrancing... the reader soaks up Gascony like a thirsty vine. --Kevin Gale, France Bookshop
A charming and nostalgic account, written in an accessible and down-to-earth style, this book offers an insider's perspective of Gascony. I felt entirely satisfied with this read and keen to sample Gascony's rural pleasures for myself. --Becci Sargent, Frnech Magazine Book Club
The only travel writing book on Gascony, A Summer in Gascony is a charming and humorous tale of an extraordinary summer spent in this relatively unknown part of south-western France, the home of D Artagnan, Cyrano de Bergerac, gutsy red wine, fine sweet wine Armagnac and sunflowers. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a beautifully crafted story and so well written you could easily forget that you are reading about somebody else's story and not your own. The author vividly recalls the people, the sights, the smells and the emotions. I read a sizeable portion of this book during a very warm day in May and I could easily imagine I was in Gascony (albeit the illusion was ruined by the occasional passing Glaswegian accent).
Its a credit to the author that when you begin to reach the end of the book and he is saying goodbye to people like Jacques-Henri, Madame 'Parle-Beaucoup' and Monsiuer Fustignac - you can almost imagine you are there saying goodbye with him (to the extent that you have a lump in your throat). But one of the most bitter sweet scenes is the farewell to his summer love - Anja. Its at that point the magic of summer begins to fade. he says himself later that his summer in Gascony was like a 'golden capsual'. He then boards a ship back to Britain and you do get the sense that while he is going back to his old life - he is not going back to it the same person.
A nice touch is the final chapter of the book when he returns to Gascony about 20 years later (apprx). I would say this is a weaker part of the book as he could have had a bit more detail about what happened to Jacques-Henri (it isnt that clear if Jacques-Henri has died or done a runner!!!).
Please read this book - its not just about a summer in Gascony. Its about taking a journey and arriving back where you started, but seeing the world anew.
The setting for 'A Summer in Gascony' is Peguilhan, between Boulogne-sur-Gesse and L'Isle-en-Dodon.
Martin describes the local vegetables, the herbs and even how he learnt to slaughter sheep 'that were a little bigger than lambs, but still not fully grown' and gained Jacques-Henri's true respect.
He discovers 'a world far removed from the trappings of modern tourism'. His story describes an ever changing landscape of actively maintained farmland where people make time for each other.
Martin is certainly relieved when Madame Parle-Beaucoup defends him after 'two old regulars propped up the end of the bar' upon discovering Martin is English ask 'are you a 'ooligan?'.
After touring France for a couple of weeks a pair of Californian visitors found 'this place just by accident' and admit they'd found 'just what we'd been looking for'.
Here Martin gives us an insight to a special place 'hidden quietly away in southeast Gascony' between the folds of gently undulating hills and a backdrop of majestic mountains.
A Summer in Gascony is a really good read - just what we'd been looking for.
Kevin Gale - France Bookshop
It delves into the rural life of a farming family whom the author worked for over a summer vacation.
The story is written in an light style with short chapters devoted to different aspects of the farm, the inn, the family and the community that includes Madame Parle-Beaucoup!
Easy to read and thoroughly recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant! Very readable and a real flavour of the region of Gascony. Enjoyed every page!Published 17 months ago by Tolstoy Fan
This is a good book, well written with lovely illustrations included but it lacks any depth.
What really annoys me though, is the epilogue regarding when the author... Read more
I don't think the cover or title do justice to this memoir about time spent on a Gascon farm. I fell under the spell of the world the author evoked. Read morePublished on 27 Jan. 2014 by S Winspur
A vivid description of a summer spent working on a Gas on farm/auberge. A far cry from most "travel" books. Read morePublished on 20 Sept. 2013 by Jennifer McIvor
While away a few hours reading this and picture the auberge in Gascony. I can now look forward to my next trip down to the south west of France.Published on 5 Aug. 2013 by charles dunn
A quite enjoyable book about the authors time at a farm and Auberge on a working summer in Gascony.
Apart from finding the work hard to start with, he settles into the... Read more
A Summer In Gascony apart from being a very interesting read was very informative about the region itself. I learned a great deal about the origins of the region. Read morePublished on 11 Dec. 2011 by Renzo
Arrived on time and quality was excellent, very pleased with the service provided.
Will use Amazon again. Thank you to the provider too.
I enjoyed this book as it introduced me to a part of France I didn't know. It is a very easy book to read, nothing particularly intellectually challenging about it and nothing to... Read morePublished on 16 Sept. 2011 by franny