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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 6 June 2014
There is a great difference between books that are light, and those that are lightweight. Julia Stagg has completely mastered the art of light fiction, with this series of books set in France. Her characters are real, the stories believable, and a mix of fun, romance and excitement. I have read the first 2 books, starting with L'Auberge, hoarding the second two to take on holiday. More please, Julia.
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What a great book. I really enjoyed it and giggled my way through most of it. Having lived in 'Fogas' I could imagine every building, road, bend, character and cat from the descriptions written. The Author, for me, captured the real feeling of the community, the local dramas etc. I cannot wait to read book number 2!
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on 4 March 2016
Dreadful book Full of swear words "bloody, the "F" word" and many other unpleasant words. Does the authoress dislike everything and people" I have thrownit into the rubbish as I can't give it to a Bazaar ,as I do with many books: i don't want to contaminate others.
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VINE VOICEon 6 July 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a very charming book. It is pretty well written and carried me along to the end. The story revolves around two English people who have bought a dilapidated auberge in a small french village. While many people are delighted to welcome the English couple, some have plans for the Auberge themselves including the mayor. Although there is an initial impression that resistance to the English is due to the fact that they are English and will be terrible cooks, the author reasonably quickly moves one on to understand that the motivations are much more complex than that.....

If you to know detail - read the book!

One warmed to most of the characters and the author had an extra little twist in the story that, while really not necessary to make this a good read, was funny and poignant at the same time.
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on 19 February 2014
I chose this book because I wanted at long last to read some 'French' fiction after having read so many French real life books following our move here permanently 6 years ago. It didn't disappoint me, only in that I read it far too quickly, not wanting to put it down for too long! The characters were oh so typical of real residents of a small French community, drawing so many comparisons with my own life in rural France. Thankfully I received the sequel at the same time so was able to carry on with their lives straight away :)
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on 8 February 2013
From one who lives in France & has read many books of fiction and 'living in France' type books over the years. I really enjoyed L'Auberge. The characters I can relate too, though our Mayor in Coulonges is lovely & has helped my business (thank goodness).

There have been negative comments on Amazon about Paul & Webster's 'French' being translated into english with grammatical errors. I don't think this makes it hard to read & from someone who studies French every day, it made me chuckle, maybe it's too much of an in-joke for some? But when you live in France and you do your best to communicate on the spot, these are the mistakes newbies make. Annie's problems with her teeth were harder to work out on the page, but by rolling the words into one, you can imagine how it sounds, which must have been the point. I'm not a speed reader anyway, so it was ok.

I'm going to carry on reading the series & have signed up to Julia Staggs Facebook page.

If you like a light hearted story full of French character, this is the book for you.
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on 23 May 2016
A lovely story demonstrating what is good and bad in small village life in France. From the duplicity of some public officials to the great kindness and willingness to help thwart the local corruption, it says it all. It is also well written which makes it a very easy and enjoyable read.
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VINE VOICEon 15 June 2011
Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I really liked this very witty book which read in parts like a French farce. It follows the story of "Les Anglais", Lorna and Paul, as they try to establish a hotel/restaurant in a small village in the French Pyrenees. Unknown to them at the time, the Mayor is trying very hard to thwart their plans as he wants his brother-in-law to buy l'Auberge instead. There is crisis after crisis and they are on the verge of giving up and moving back to England but with friends ready to help out, Lorna and Paul grapple with the manipulations of the cunning old Mayor in order to save their new venture. There are some eccentric characters woven into the story, including a ghost - the only irritation for me was that of Annie and her long sentences strung together to give the effect of talking with bad false teeth!

This book has echoes of Clochemerle with perhaps a hint of Chocolat thrown in for good measure, as well as giving such a good insight into the worst of French bureaucracy and I hope there is a sequel on the horizon as I would love to know how things pan out for the couple.
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on 6 June 2012
I instantly felt at home in Fogas, where village life seemed so familiar to our little French village, especially as they too have the ever present divide in village politics with power hungry would be mayors! It is obvious that Julia Stagg has lived in and experienced French village life first hand; you really couldn't make up some of the things that happen and I was pleased to see Johnny Hallyday made a guest appearance too - no French village knees-up would be complete without him. The book has so many lovely characters whose lives are all entwined, both as the story is being told and from past events, which gives us lots of `will they won't they' moments.

I laughed a lot, especially as English food was often the `joke', but unless you have come across a real French person's reaction to our cuisine you wouldn't believe it. I also cried at the end, and the last few chapters had me gripped not knowing which way things were going to swing - it was one of those books that made me stay up way too late at night!

Anyone who has lived in a French village will understand and nod knowingly, anyone who thinks they would like to live (and work) in a French village should read it and learn from it!

Thankfully, Julia's second novel The Parisian's Return, also set in Fogas, starts immediately L'Auberge finishes. I think Jacques was my favourite character in L'Auberge, and as he is central to life at the epicerie I can't wait to find out what happens to him, and what life has in store for the other villagers.
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on 18 February 2014
I bought the first of Julia's books L'auberge, read it within 24 hours, so promptly bought the next 2. Bad news is I read them in a few hours!

Now I am waiting for her next book (April 2014). I rarely read light fiction, preferring slightly heavier historical (medieval ) novels, or historically academic books. I only dip into to light fiction when I am stressed. I am so pleased I found Julia's books. The characters are likeable and well formed and the stories a delight. In many ways there is a slight humour of MC Beaton and Joanne Harris . I highly recommend this as a lovely way to while a way a few hours
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