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On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town
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On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  2,734 ratings  ·  179 reviews
The second house that Susan Hermann Loomis looked at in the small town of Louviers was perfect. Dilapidated, rambling, crumbling walls which were covered with faded paper, it had been a convent. So Susan, her husband, who was luckily a sculptor and builder, and small son, moved in - to spend a year and more, rebuilding, finding new hidden treasures of their house, and disc...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published March 28th 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jen
I went through a phase where all I read were books about ex-pats. I guess I spent alot of the Bush years fantasizing about living in other countries...but I digress. This is a fun read in that vein.
Kathleen Valentine
This started out really good but bogged down toward the end -- it seemed she was trying a bit too hard to find things to write about by the last few chapters. But most of the book is very entertaining. I found her chapters about the discovery of the old convent, the process of purchasing it, and the restoration quite wonderful. And I very much enjoyed her descriptions of village life and learning to get along with the quirky, eccentric neighbors. I had just read I'll Never Be French which is als...more
Marg

It won't be that much of a surprise to any frequent visitors to my blog to find out that I was instantly attracted to a book that is set in France and features lots of food related stories. This isn't the first time that combination catches my attention, and I expect it won't be the last time either.

This book is a foodie memoir by Susan Loomis who has lived in France for many years now and who has written numerous cookbooks as well as running a cooking school in the small town of Louviers in Nor...more
minervasowl
Read this book while sitting outside on a temperate spring or summer day with a tree or umbrella nearby for shade and while enjoying fresh crusty bread, soft, flavorful cheese, and a chilled glass of wine (perhaps sparkling, perhaps a lighter sauvignon blanc, or whatever your palette fancies).

The day will fly by as you relax into the stories and recipes. The subtitle really should be "Living, cooking and restoring an historic home in a French Town" as the story of the acquisition and renovation...more
Di
Mar 11, 2010 Di rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Yes
This book is written very simply and almost journal like at times, and sometimes rambles on a bit too much about daily routine, but I admit to being easily persuaded to delve into the simple pleasures of French country living and ignore what scholars may deem bad writing. I’m a pushover when it comes to market shopping, pasties and coffee in quaint cafes, and the remodel of an ancient monastery. There are also recipes included which I am anxious to try. If you can stand an entire chapter on buyi...more
Jessica
I don't know if this author was trying to paint a picture of her life as perfect, or if she's just looking back on her life with rose-colored glasses.

I didn't really feel like I got to know any of the characters- most everyone seemed pleasant enough. The few people with whom she had conflicts were quickly won over in a very Anne-of-Green-Gables kind of way. She mentioned being broke a couple of times, yet somehow managed to move abroad, buy a 15-room house, send her son to private school, and b...more
Jennifer Forest
A delightful read, the perfect book to wind down with at the end of a busy day. I loved her story of buying a house in France (an American with a husband and child) and uncovering friends and life with family there. There are a lot of books in this genre, my local library seems to be bursting at the seams with them. But this one was refreshing in her focus on people, her own family and the friends she meets and the everyday things they do, like her son starting school. I actually found her story...more
Wanrong
Another of the France books that I've been reading in quick succession. This one was kinda 'random', it was almost as though the author was literally writing the story of her move to France. Not particularly exciting/eventful (except right at the end), and with no particular theme running through it. Even the recipes were kinda random. Easy reading, but not great.
Dana
Building out my goodreads list with my faves...years ago I read an article about this PNW writer who moved to France with her family to realize her dreams. When I finally read this book, I found her description of the process enchanting. And the food...OMG!
Daniel
I enjoyed this as a nice evening read. The author worked with Patricia Wells and had an enchanting live moving to France. Some nice recipes and included.
Jennifer
On Rue Tatin is a pleasant memoir about an American family’s life in Louviers, France, a small village in the Normandy region of northern France. The author, Susan Loomis, is a cookbook writer and culinary-school instructor, and much of the book charts her discovery and development of recipes. Through Loomis’s experiences of daily life with her husband and young son, and their interactions with their neighbors, friends, and local merchants, the reader learns much about the cultural differences b...more
Mom
Feb 10, 2009 Mom rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: would-be emigrants, mothers-to-be
Recommended to Mom by: found in resale store in Seoul, S.Korea
This memoir is by a writer and cookbook author who emigrated from Maine to a French town to start afresh in the country where she had studied as a new college graduate. In between she had lived on both coasts of the U.S. with her husband, and son, a toddler at the time of the "big move".

They embarked on renovating a beautiful neglected house, a convent for 300 years, overlooking the Catholic church and priest's dwelling. That underway, they entertained in a setting of delicious food, country ma...more
Elysia Fionn
Okay, I will take credit for PART of the reason I am coming over all "meh" about this book. The part that's my fault is this: After reading the author's gushing comment about seeing her "breathtakingly handsome" husband for the first time, I put the book down and Googled the husband. What I came up with was a photo of the husband, and no, I didn't think he was attractive, but that's beside the point. What I found out was that after this book was written, they got divorced. Which made me loath to...more
Elizabeth
I love food writing, and I love travel writing, and I love France, so you'd think this would be an ideal book for me. While it had me dreaming of packing in the suburban lifestyle and moving somewhere a bit more idyllic, the really self-satisfied tone was a bit grating. Of COURSE she found a dream job after finishing culinary school in Paris, and then of COURSE she met the love of her life who was delighted to move to Paris, and then of COURSE the perfect home just happened to be available when...more
Tina Culbertson
Oct 22, 2012 Tina Culbertson rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of ex pat literature and France
Shelves: france, memoirs
On Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis is another French ex-pat type memoir that combined cooking and recipes. Win-win for me!

Most times I travel through the written word, through books instead of airline terminals…….so many reasons.

Much of what I enjoy is the detailed descriptions of the sites and history, paired with the local food. From afar I have fallen in love with France, as did Susan Herrmann Loomis. I visited France about 100 years ago when I was a young pup of 21. Culture shock aside, I...more
Chris
This is one of my least favorite food memoirs I've read. A lot of focus was how they fit into their small French village. Yet, I felt she aired a little bit too much of their dirty laundry; the florist across the street kept their wares in their yard, and being next to a Catholic church, their yard was used by parishioners. While perhaps her ultimate goal was to show how they were able to keep these people out of their private yard and how they came to fit their lives into France, I feel they ca...more
Emily
Jul 17, 2007 Emily rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who dream of living in France
Prior to my trip to France in May 2007, I went to the Boston Public Library and raided the shelves for all of its book on life in France. Even if my vacation was 5 months away, I wanted to be in France immediately. And this book certainly did that for me. It details the life of a woman, who with her husband in tow, decides to make a life in France. Its goes through her house hunting, then house remodeling, to finally just her life amongst the French people. I this book is a great study of how th...more
Stacy
Delightful little book on the adventure of a young American couple who move to France, buy a home and start the restoring process. While not the lyrical writer that Francis Mayes demonstrates in her books on Italy, it was still a very good armchair travel read. She writes cookbooks so it's chock full of great food descriptions and recipes. Warning, you will become very hungry and want to eat good food while reading this. But then you realize you live in Port Orchard and you can't buy any French...more
Pauline
This is my second reading of an enjoyable book which I first read in April 2010. This time it's even more fun because I'm reading it aloud to my husband. In the summer we enjoy eating outside in our backyard and chose an after dinner book to share. He's enjoying it as much as I did 2 years ago and I enjoy reading aloud--try it--it makes the book come alive in fresh ways.

My husband really isn't interested in all the recipes so I skip over those, but still tell myself I am going to make some of S...more
Cecilia
Oct 11, 2007 Cecilia rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: travelers
This book, sort of a mix between travelogue and cookbook (she includes recipes at the end of each chapter) made me just want to hop on a plane to France, for all of its vivid descriptions of foods and aromas, and for the wonderful depiction of the French countryside and the French people. Like Frances Mayes' love of Tuscany, Loomis falls in love with France during trips in her youth and when, years later, she finally makes enough money as a cookbook writer, she wants more than anything to reloca...more
Suzie Martin
I enjoyed on rue Tatin and had fun trying some of the recipes. She drops some French on just about every page. Might be irritating to those who are not familiar with the language. I would definitely like to attend her cooking classes in Louviers.
Joyce
A pleasant read...I love another reviewers suggestion....savor with a glass of a light, crisp wine with a crusty loaf of bread & a fabulous gooey cheese under the shade of a tree on a lovely day! Perfect!
Amber Lintvedt
One of my all time favorite travel books!!! Author gives you an insiders look at the quirky and amazing city of Paris from an American's point of view. Would read again!!
Kathi
This life is a dream I have that won't ever happen! I can, however, live vicariously through her. Even the recipes included were delicious.
Becky
I suppose it wasn't fair to this book that I came to it after just having finished Peter Mayle's "A Year in Provence." This is an interesting read, but it does seem rather without a good structure to it. It's not so organized as I might like. Ultimately, it seems a bit like someone's letters home to family to let them know what is going on. We do get nice descriptions of what the grocery shopping and farmer's market experiences are like. I did read the entire book, though she nearly lost me comp...more
Marvel
I'm a sucker for books about living in other countries so this was entertaining for me. The author's day job is a cookbook writer and unfortunately this book about buying a fixer upper in a small French town read somewhat like a cookbook. She didn't give any of the characters much pizzazz. She also has tons of recipes in the book, which are fun to read but they're all French recipes and too many ingredients and steps for me to try. If I want to do French, I have all of Julia Child's books and ca...more
Nancy McClure
Jul 07, 2008 Nancy McClure rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a soul and a sense of humor
LOVED LOVED LOVED this book. STILL reread it, and have cooked MANY of the interspersed recipes throughout (everyone of my friends who've tasted my proccuito wrapped endives has THIS book to thank!) Several things made it one with my heart: ex-pats living in Europe. Meeting and examining cultural differences (and parallels!) via the art of dining. Artist's obsession to renovate and leave a personal mark on a space.

This book I'm NOT giving away or trading - I've not worked through all the recipes...more
Kim
one day i would give this book 4 starts - other days two - each chapter it felt like the writing was rushed like it was a filler story - and other chapters were written with more care like she was into it that day. the differences that were pointed out about everyday life and people in France and the US were pointed out pretty well and i enjoyed that education - not better or worse just different.
i am interested in trying some of her recipes though, but not all of them. probably will not read a...more
Dvora
I enjoy books about moving abroad, especially to Spain where I've moved or to France, where I plan to move. This one was OK, but it plodded a bit. I found Tout Sweet much more fun to read. On the other hand, this one was possibly more honest and certainly more focussed on food, which I do enjoy reading about. The food was probably the best part. And she gives recipes. I haven't tried any yet but will. They look good and mostly doable (for those like me who prefer to eat well and to read about fo...more
Katie Hawkins
I enjoyed this book, but mostly because I am traveling to France in a month and it helped to build my anticipation. If you aren't interested in French culture, this may not be the book for you (and though I am, I wasn't a huge fan of the chapter dedicated to finding the perfect stove). However, the best part about this book is the recipes after each chapter. If you are interested in French cuisine and want to try to make some of your own while also reading about where it came from, this books is...more
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