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A Year In Provence by Peter Mayle
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A Year In Provence (original 1990; edition 1990)

by Peter Mayle, Judith Clancy (Illustrator)

Series: Provence (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,841661,343 (3.87)101
Member:empress8411
Title:A Year In Provence
Authors:Peter Mayle
Other authors:Judith Clancy (Illustrator)
Info:Alfred A. Knopf (1990), Edition: First American Edition, Hardcover, 224 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:General Non-Fiction, Memoir and Essay

Work details

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle (1990)

  1. 00
    A Summer in Gascony: Discovering the Other South of France by Martin Calder (mike_frank)
  2. 11
    French Fried: One Man's Move to France with Too Many Animals and an Identity Thief by Chris Dolley (codehooligans)
    codehooligans: Similar concepts. Brits move to France. Story are similar for a while. Discovering (and using) the new language. Learning to communicate. Both set in mid-1990s. French Fried has some later twists
  3. 00
    Next Time Round in Provence: The Vaucluse and the Bouches-Du-Rhone (KayCliff)
  4. 00
    Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik (carlym)
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» See also 101 mentions

English (61)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  Catalan (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
This popular book seems to have been around forever, but I only got around to reading it shortly before travelling to Provence myself for the first time.
It is a gentle read. Paints a picture of a lifestyle that I hope is still visible when I get there next week. The author doesn't try to be too smart, and doesn't get in the way of his tale.
Most of us will never be able to retire at 50 to live in the south of France, but very manny of us would carry a yearning to do so, if we won the lottery. And I'm not sure that all those that are able to do so, would be as successful as the Mayles. He had the language skills and the patience and the personality to make it all work. For the rest of us, it is probably better to remain an unfulfilled dream.
Read August 2015 ( )
  mbmackay | Aug 6, 2015 |
A truly delicious feast of a book, Peter Mayle makes you want to run away to Provence right this minute. Simple, clean and vivid writing, coupled with a great heart. This guy has a wry, open-minded and elegant sense of humour along with a great eye for brush0stroke nuances that sketch an entire character for you deftly. A must-read for travel and food buffs. ( )
1 vote swati.ravi | Feb 9, 2015 |
Although delightful and charming, it lacks any substance whatsoever. I was somwhere in July when he mentioned his wife and I realized I didn't know her name. Some of the neighbors get some personality developing but there isn't enough in each story. They start and then they just end. Perhaps people won't read a 300 page travel book but I would have liked more. However, it was charming and the food all made me hungry.
1 vote amyem58 | Jul 16, 2014 |
Reading about spending a year in France is way easier to organise than actually spending a year in France so that's what I did. I had to keep reminding myself that this was written in the 80s and that things have probably changed quite a lot since then.

Peter Mayle certainly found himself planted amid an eccentric group of people, who were a perfect fit for his humorous writing style.

I really enjoyed the first third or so, then I realised that I was listening to my great uncle Ron talk about plumbing and driving and roads. There's definitely an old man's sensibility contained within these pages. It's a credit to the author that he crafted a story out of fairly mundane happenings. I was still hoping for something more.

I've never studied French and therefore didn't pick up all of the French language insertions, but I'm confident any reader with a high school level of French would have no trouble with that. I did appreciate the descriptions of food and found myself quite hungry reading this. I'm sure I would thrive on a French diet. But no, I'm not inspired to plonk myself in France. Instead, I consider myself warned: If we up sticks for a year, I should make it someone damp and dingy, otherwise we're in for a yearlong influx of guests. ( )
1 vote LynleyS | Feb 8, 2014 |
L'original! ( )
  amelish | Sep 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
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Peter Mayleprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mayle, Petermain authorall editionsconfirmed
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To Jennie, with love and thanks
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The year began with lunch.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679731148, Paperback)

Who hasn't dreamed, on a mundane Monday or frowzy Friday, of chucking it all in and packing off to the south of France? Provençal cookbooks and guidebooks entice with provocatively fresh salads and azure skies, but is it really all Côtes-du-Rhône and fleur-de-lis? Author Peter Mayle answers that question with wit, warmth, and wicked candor in A Year in Provence, the chronicle of his own foray into Provençal domesticity.

Beginning, appropriately enough, on New Year's Day with a divine luncheon in a quaint restaurant, Mayle sets the scene and pits his British sensibilities against it. "We had talked about it during the long gray winters and the damp green summers," he writes, "looked with an addict's longing at photographs of village markets and vineyards, dreamed of being woken up by the sun slanting through the bedroom window." He describes in loving detail the charming, 200-year-old farmhouse at the base of the Lubéron Mountains, its thick stone walls and well-tended vines, its wine cave and wells, its shade trees and swimming pool--its lack of central heating. Indeed, not 10 pages into the book, reality comes crashing into conflict with the idyll when the Mistral, that frigid wind that ravages the Rhône valley in winter, cracks the pipes, rips tiles from the roof, and tears a window from its hinges. And that's just January.

In prose that skips along lightly, Mayle records the highlights of each month, from the aberration of snow in February and the algae-filled swimming pool of March through the tourist invasions and unpredictable renovations of the summer months to a quiet Christmas alone. Throughout the book, he paints colorful portraits of his neighbors, the Provençaux grocers and butchers and farmers who amuse, confuse, and befuddle him at every turn. A Year in Provence is part memoir, part homeowner's manual, part travelogue, and all charming fun. --L.A. Smith

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:01 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

They had been there often as tourists. They had cherished the dream of someday living all year under the Provencal sun. And suddenly it happened. Here is the month-by month account of the charms and frustrations that Peter Mayle and his wife -- and their two large dogs -- experience their first year in the remote country of the Luberon restoring a two-centuries-old stone farmhouse that they bought on sight. From coping in January with the first mistral, which comes howling down from the Rhone Valley and wreaks havoc with the pipes, to dealing as the months go by with the disarming promises and procrastination of the local masons and plumbers, Peter Mayle delights us with his strategies for survival. He relishes the growing camaraderie with his country neighbors -- despite the rich, soupy, often impenetrable patois that threatens to separate them. He makes friends with boar hunters and truffle hunters, a man who eats foxes, and another who bites dentists; he discovers the secrets of handicapping racing goats and of disarming vipers. And he comes to dread the onslaught of tourists who disrupt his tranquillity. In this often hilarious, seductive book Peter Mayle manages to transport us info all the earthy pleasures of Provencal life and lets us live vicariously in a tempo governed by seasons, not by days. George Lang, who was smitten suggests: "Get a glass of marc, lean back in your most comfortable chair, and spend a delicious year in Provence."… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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