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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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I was sorry when I finished 'Tout sweet' because I could have stayed a lot longer with Karen in Poitou, sharing her crazy but sweet time there !
Bravely leaving behind a cushy, luxurious lifestyle in London (bit of a Carry Bradshaw there maybe ! ), Karen roughs it up in a rural, peaceful village of Poitou Charentes, while renovating an old house 'Maison Coquelicot', her new home. Hoping to find the next Great Love, Karen quickly mixes with the locals, french and british expats, all very quirky but endearing individuals. Well written and very funny, the author, an immediately loveable character, finds herself in hilarious and difficult situations, not least because of the pecularities of french etiquette !
If not the first english person to take the road to gaelic pastures, Karen's book stands out by its inherent humour, quality of writing and engaging tone that leaves one wishing for more of Karen's adventures in Poitou!
Perfect summer read or at anytime one needs some fresh air and mental escape !
22 comments| 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 July 2009
The book is well written and very witty with strong likeable characters.
You cannot help but fall in love with the author's character. She seems like a Bridget Jones let loose in the French countryside, getting into a lot of funny situations with both ex-pat English and French locals like, as she adjusts to a totally different way of life.

It gives hope to anyone who is considering escaping the UK for a better way of life, that no matter what your background is, you can succeed in the face of adversity and have some great fun along the way.

This book will make you laugh out loud, it's such a great read. It was difficult to put down once I had opened the front cover.
Well worth the money!
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on 16 July 2009
I just finished reading Tout Sweet in one sitting. The book only arrived yesterday morning in the post and I have now in one and a half days come to the last page. The story was so charming and enchanting. It was the perfect antidote to this terrible summer in London, being able to escape in my head to idyllic France and into the world of the author.

The characters were so funny and I felt myself warming to each and every one - I only hope we read more about them in her next book.

Far less clichéd than Peter Mayle and the like, this is THE `moving to France' story for me. And with the author's sprinkling of glamour - this is my favourite `feel-good' book of 2009!
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on 6 July 2009
This is such a great read, I couldn't put it down. It's an extremely funny and true account of a woman starting a new life in France....alone. While seeking to attract a handsome and 'useful' male, the author is equally dodging unsuitables. You cannot help but love her natural enthusiasm and her fun personality. Karen Wheeler's writing brings her experiences vividly to life to make this first book a real page turner. Hilarious and brilliant.
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on 3 August 2009
I was so delighted that my copy of this fabulous book arrived on Saturday as it was a rainy, miserbale day giving me the perfect excuse to curl up with a cuppa and dream about a life abroad!

Karen Wheeler's writing style is enthusiastic and engaging and her story feel good...with the weather this summer so inclement it's a shame this is her first book as it will bring a ray of sunshine into the heart of any reader as it did mine!
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on 26 February 2015
I've had a hectic few months and really needed something light to read. I occasionally dip into chic lic and certainly enjoy 'running away from it all books'. This was just what I needed and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It starts with a heartbreak and an impulsive purchase of a property in France. It's not quite a run away from it all, as karen is a freeland journo/writer and therefore she should in theory be able to earn a living no matter where she lives. She has a lovely style of writing and I certainly wanted her to find love again. I did have a couple of minor gripes. Karen (initially ) appeared rather shallow ( at least she had been living what I would describe as a shallow life). She was a fashion/beauty writer and It seems like her life was fully of designer outfits champagne and freebies. life (with some of the expats) appeared to run along the same lines. Lots of 'lets open a bottle of champers (no aldi or lidle here - it's all Laurent Perrier Champagne. Whilst thre were some lovely warm characters, One or two of the Ex pats drove me mad particularly when they had had a drink (which was often) when it appeared that being drunk means you can be rude or dismissive to anyone (and people excuse this behaviour). But please don't let this out you off. Karen did profess to valuing the more simple pleasures in life as a result of her move to France. All in all I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I will definitely buy the next one.
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on 10 October 2012
I did read this book to the end but I got very tired of it. It was a very light-weight read by an author who kept talking about her clothes and her ex-boyfriend. I would have liked to hear a bit more about her new house and a lot less about her desperate search for a new man.

I bought it because of all the 5 star ratings. One reviewer said it made her laugh out loud. It didn't make me laugh at all and I found was mainly about how Karen got over her grief at her boyfriend's leaving her. Perhaps she found it helpful to write but I found it boring to read.
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on 1 July 2014
I'm now on to Karen Wheeler's second book in the series. I loved this one so much that, as soon as I'd finished it, I ordered the other. It was £4.79 for the Kindle version and I NEVER pay full price for a kindle book so that shows how much I love her books. I didn't realise until I starting doing some research, that these are actually auto biographical too. I will read the third one next and then she is currently writing her fourth, so roll on that...........
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on 21 August 2013
This woman only drinks Evian. She doesn't have a glass of water. She doesn't eat vegetables. She eats ORGANIC vegetables. Yes, yes, we get it. You've come from big big London to little, tiny backwoods France and you seem to completely need a man. Always. So tedious. So annoying. Do not pick up this book.

She goes for a walk and after having walked for 'some hours' she happens upon the local gay baker. Not a big deal of course but in the next para we find that on returning to the village she has walked for nearly two hours. So which is it? Some hours or nearly two? Yes, tedious.
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on 27 March 2013
I found this book and particularly the main character, annoying and superficial. A long book to tell a dull, repetitive story. Not worth the time or the cost. If you like this genre, read A Year in Provence which is well written and a very good read.
11 comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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