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on 15 April 2014
As a non French speaker I could not understand much of the French writing. I would have enjoyed it better if there had been translation included. Or maybe I just need to learn French!
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on 2 March 2014
Enjoyable to read about the headaches of re-constructing a 'new' home in a foreign country. As I do not speak any French, it is at times rather annoying to have French thrown in - it seems to stint the flow of the story.

I would like to read the follow-up but not at the price offered. Maybe when it is on a special. I will certainly keep it in mind.
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on 7 April 2014
I have lost count of the number of books I have read describing Brits who buy up old ruins in France/Spain/Italy, do them up and move in. I enjoyed this one much more than most of the others. Partly because Silvestre seems to have more empathy than others for the local inhabitants; she looks outwards when many others have tended to turn their narratives of moving to the sun into voyages of self-exploration. She writes with real love and sympathy for a disappearing way of life, really brings her characters to life, and captures details of nature and daily life in a memorable and charming way. I also very much enjoyed the passages exploring the life of previous inhabitants of the place via old letters, etc - it seems satisfying that these people who lived their own honest country lives in obscurity are now remembered through Silvestre's books. My only complaint is about quite a number of errors in the bits of French scattered here and there. But this is a small point. I am now off to start reading the second in the series!
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on 2 May 2014
Having fallen in love with rural France during many wonderful holidays,and having sampled several of the many post Peter Mayle stories of buying a property in France, I was delighted to be proved wrong in my assumption that they were all inferior and much-of-a-muchness, when I recently came across Ruth Silvestre's well-written trilogy. Her account of her family's experiences in renovating a derelict house and making it a home, together with their ever-deepening love affair with rural France and the lasting friendships they forged, is written with warmth and engaging appreciation of a different culture and way of life. Her descriptions of the countryside and the flora and fauna bring them vividly to life in the mind's eye; and her accounts of the meals are mouth-watering.
A delightful surprise!
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on 8 February 2014
I enjoyed this book because it showed how much more enjoyable life in France is if you become part of the community. A home in France is lovely but being able to speak to neighbours makes it a much better experience.
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on 7 March 2014
Another book recommended by the facebook group We Love Memoirs!
From the first page of this booked I was hooked and didn't want to put it down until I had finished it.
The descriptions of the house and journey of renovating( as my husband and I are doing in Southern Spain) took me back 10 years to when we first started!!
I also found the stories behind the letters found by Ruth absorbing!!
We are actually going on holiday to France this summer not far from Agen!
I so look forward to reading the other books at some time!!!The descriptions of all the food had my mouth watering!!!!
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on 9 November 2014
An enjoyable and descriptive read about a London couple who bought and restored a house in France. Much of the description is about meals they ate with their neighbours and experiences they had of harvesting various crops with the local farmers. It was well written and full of vivid description. So many books one reads these days are clearly self-published and not particularly well-written. This was not one of them. I'm not sure there was enough to hold my interest in the two sequels as there are only so many descriptions of meals a reader needs. But the book was extremely enjoyable
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on 12 April 2014
An absolutely beautiful book. Very entertaining, very well written and thoroughly enjoyable. My only complaint, and the reason for 4 stars instead of 5, is there were frequent quotes/ comments in French which mostly had no translation. Sometimes I could get the gist of what had been said from the subject being discussed but more often I had no idea what had been said (even a translation in an appendix if the author felt that it would slow the pace of the story). Despite this, I have bought the other 2 books in the trilogy and am looking forward to reading them.
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on 31 August 2014
I began reading this whilst on holiday in the Dordogne in the summer of 2014. It was our fifth holiday in this part of Frnce and many of the places mentioned in the book are familiar to my family. We have often thought about a second home in France and this book provides a wonderful insight into the reality of doing so. Ruth Silvestre has a knack for description that makes the narration seem as if she is talking to you directly. The relationships with the local people are an especial highlight of the book. I shall be downloading the sequels!
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on 23 February 2014
A gastronomic account of life en France, almost too perfect in fact, but a pleasant read and escapism from the British winter of 2014!
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