Top critical review
An admirable woman's story ...
on 22 November 2007
I first came across this lady in the Channel 4 series "A French Affair" in 1994, it being the story of 4 families who relocated to the Dordogne, and was struck dumb with admiration even back then. Just the sheer damned hard work she put in to pull through from horrendous problems to success was quite mind-boggling! I was delighted to spot her book, a few years later, and marvelled anew at her courage and persistance.
To the reviewers who didn't like all the technical stuff about wine - possibly the title should have warned them off! To the ones who said it was yet another book about Brits going to France and living the dream - well, once again, the subject matter is pretty obvious, and if you don't like that kind of thing, then don't read it!! I love all those books, and this is a particularly interesting example, because it goes beyond funny stories about French builders and "fabulous meals wot I have ate".
I think that she writes rather movingly about her marriage. I too felt that she probably could have said a lot more, but was too dignified to wash her dirty linen in public, or to rubbish her husband - who, after all, was only forced to abandon his dream through chronic ill-health. The loss of two very close friends - one horrifically young - is also very touchingly portrayed, so I don't understand at all the accusations of sterility and lack of feeling. The only thing I found slightly irritating was the writing of everything in the present tense, but this did not ulitmately spoil my enjoyment of the book.
I haven't tried the wine, but even it's awful I don't see that that can detract from the quality of the book!!!