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on 2 February 2014
I just love this book, it lifted my spirit no end. I have now read the book through twice, the first time in one sitting and I laughed so much that my stomach hurt afterward. A friend actually gave me the book as she knew I would resonate with the author, and I did...big time. In my case, it was my husband who decided we should move to France, he was nearing retirement age but I was only 47 at the time and we had young children, aged 8 & 9 years, and I thought he was crazy! I too have struggled to understand what it is about France that draws people like a fly to the lamplight but, the older I get, this becomes more clear. The anecdotes that Karen provides in her book were very entertaining, I recognised similar character traits in the ex-pats found in my corner of France, and I absolutely fell in love with her Gran and other members of her family. The name of the ex-pat publication she talks about frequently I suspect is poetic licence but it also gave me several belly laughs along the way. Thanks so much Karen for being such a good egg and writing down your thoughts, I eagerly look forward to the sequel.
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on 25 June 2012
I sat down to read and was not dissapointed. The emotions that roll through the story really do make you want to read on and on untill the end. What a journey and to get to what everyone will wish to be a very happy ending,I laughed out loud and also shed some tears.A very good first book with more to come we hope.Merle.b
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on 2 July 2012
This book is refreshingly honest, full of warmth and humour with plenty of heart. I loved it!
Reminiscent at times of Sue Townsend's Diary of Adrian Mole(maybe because much of it is in diary form)but more real and with a haunted, tragic back-story which is revealed quite early on in the book. Karen Bates describes herself as a "novice writer" on her Facebook page. She's much more than that. She has a rare ability to paint a vivid picture of her life, feelings and family, all from an unsentimental, uncynical and hilariously funny viewpoint. Living The Dream needn't necessarily turn into a nightmare but it has the potential to turn crushingly dull. Why does the old 'paysan' shut his shutters in winter and sit by the fire sipping at his homemade 'eau de vie'(hooch)? Many an ex-pat might be able to answer that question after living the rural idyll for a couple of seasons. A marvellous book. I look forward to reading the sequel, "Making It In France" with eager anticipation.
Hope you'll excuse me, but I must get down to Noz before they close!
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on 8 December 2015
I found this book very depressing .I have owned a holiday home not far from where Karen obviously lived for many years, but didn't recognise the Normandy I love.I have always found our Norman neighbours to be helpful and good company , and they have welcomed us as part of their family despite being English
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on 8 May 2013
I have read many books about living in France. This book gives a different perspective to most of them. As someone who has had a holiday home in rural France for many years I found Karen's experience very different from my own. I have never lived there for more than a few months at a time so don't know how I would feel to be "trapped" there. A good read for anyone actually thinking of moving permanently as it shows what it is like warts and all. I think Normandy is probably different to many other areas in France as so many people moved there initially and have now left. There were no other Brits near us when we bought so I have not missed them when they have gone back to England. I read it whilst in France and it certainly didn't make light holiday reading!
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on 11 February 2013
Having brought lots of "french life" books Karen's was the first off our book shelf. Our new life in France is often associated with bits from the book and I have even learnt a few things that have been helpful whilst in France.. Faking It In France is funny, with a touch of sarcasm but with life's troubles too. This makes the book balanced and exciting to read.. I cant wait to add karen's next book to our book case, where visitors can sit and relax whist reading her books..
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on 25 February 2013
Fifty pages into the book and I am already wondering why I am still reading. A published book with Spelling Mistakes? This does not seem like the author has put much work into perfecting the work. And still I cannot see the story, or actually really get much of a description of the france she is in. The poor writing , punctuation (endless use of brackets) and spelling has I am afraid stopped me reading any further.
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on 29 January 2013
I'm not too far into this book but I'm already appalled by the poor spelling and misuse of the apostrophe! I have never before seen this in a published book. Did the author type it up and have it bound herself? If there was a proof reader he/she should be worried about their future career!
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on 30 December 2013
Karen lives in France but its a lonely life 'living the dream' when family are all back in Britain. This is a funny, irreverent and honest book that tells it as it is. It zings with truth, very sad at times but very readable and well written.
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on 2 December 2012
Although not having lost as the author has I have an understanding of the trails and tribulations.

The book made me laugh and want to cry in it's familiarity. (Been there, done that).

It isn't a romantic novel full of anecdotes, just a truthful and personal story.

For those who have been......... and for those considering it's a must read from me.
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