We've Always Had Paris...and Provence: A Scrapbook of Our Life in France
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We've Always Had Paris...and Provence: A Scrapbook of Our Life in France

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  27 reviews
For more than a quarter century, Patricia Wells, who has long been recognized as the leading American authority on French food, and her husband, Walter, have lived the life in France that many of us have often fantasized about. In this delightful memoir they share in two voices their experiences—the good, the bad, and the funny—offering a charming and evocative account of...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 28th 2009 by Harper Perennial (first published May 6th 2008)
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An easy read...Patricia is definitely the better writer. This is not a compelling book. But if you are an expat, it is always interesting to read how others adapt to their environment.
To be exact a 3 1/2. This book is written by both Wells and her husband about how they ended up living and working in France. I like the first half of the book much better and thought that the second half could have used better editing.
The authors of this book set out on a professional adventure in the late 1970s when they both had opportunities to work in France for a couple of years. Patricia Wells had been working as a food writer for the New York Times and her husband Walter had senior editorial experience when they got the chance to re-locate and do their work in Paris. They thought the duration of their stay would be for 2-3 years, but when Walter retired 25 years later, they were still living and working in France. I've...more
I've always enjoyed the books and cookbooks that Patricia Wells has written. This is a memoir by she and her husband (an editor at the International Herald Tribune) of the thirty years they have lived in France. Interestingly enough, they have lived in France for so long, and they obviously have a deep affinity for the country and its people, but they have never become French citizens. You get the feeling, however, that they'll retire to the home they have in Provence so it's interesting that, w...more
I didn't think this book would interest me - just another book by expatriates to France. But I didn't know or remember that both Patricia and her husband had been writers all their lives. This turned out to be a surprisingly pleasurable read and it was inspiring how two people could follow their passions, and with a lot of hard work, have lives that make them happy. They also had the good fortune of living in France at a time when the US's gourmet culture was still young and Americans hungered (...more
Better than the "charming" school of expat books : (Peter Mayle--to a certain extent Frances Mayes et. al) this book chronicles the struggle of the American couple to make an amazing life in france. It certainly sounds like work, and it also sounds like a good life. It only gets 3 stars, as like many memoirs devoted to a life based on hedonism (hedonism in the best sense) it lacks a moral core. Nevertheless, well worth a read.
Leading American food authority on French food.

She and her husband live in France where she teaches cooking to tourists, foodies and anyone interested in local cuisine. She has written numerous cookbooks.

This is their (she and her husband Walter) memoir of their 'new' home and how they arrived there. Told from each point of view it is highly entertaining and captivating.
Meg Allison
Two of our most famous Francophile expatriats muse of the good life they've created for themselves both in Paris and Provence. Patricia's narrative was much stronger than Walter's, but like any good working partnership, they clearly are in love with their work, with France, and with one another. We are merely along for the ride.
I found it very interesting to read what was behind Patricia Wells interest in food-how she started writing about it, wrote the books and started giving cooking lessons. I liked reading what her husband had to say as well about their lives in both Paris and Provence.
Danie P.
I really enjoy travelogues and this expat couple memoir about moving to Paris,France and then to Provence and building a life was wonderful. I didn't want it to end. Patricia Wells includes some of her favorite recipes and tons of pictures.
A light read, somewhat disjointed, with an "aren't we special" feel to it. But I identified with the authors' loves for Paris and France generally.
I got this as a freebie, and I'm enjoying hearing about their trajectory that brought them to France - and getting a few new recipes too.
A kind of self-absorbed very rich couple leaves New York to live in Paris and Provence. They don't seem to have any problems at all.
A great read if you are planning a trip to france, or just want to be inspired to eat, drink and explore!
Interesting approach - they alternate chapters in telling us about their life in NY, Paris and Provence.
Charming and funny, if a little self-indulgent (not that you wouldn't have guessed that from the title).
Ended up skimming most of it, but they seem like wonderful people who have had a wonderful life!
Slow moving but interesting if you like Paris, Provence and/or french food.
Jackie Mancuso
Jun 11, 2013 Jackie Mancuso rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Jackie by: not sure
I normally like reading about expat experience. Not this one.
Slow start, but did get interesting. Some good recipes.
Rather boring and not enough photos of their life in Paris.
Why didn't I move to France thirty years ago!!
thoroughly enjoyable
This book made me hungry.
Oddly lifeless and pedantic.
Feb 08, 2013 Lisa added it
Shelves: ebook, foodie
never finished it
Herr Lemmy
Herr Lemmy marked it as to-read
Mar 31, 2014
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