Tracy's Reviews > A Year in Provence

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
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's review
Feb 19, 2012

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Read in February, 2012

This book has been on my travel book shelf for years, and an upcoming trip to Provence inspired me to finally read it. I have to say, as a person interested in the PLACE Provence, I was very disappointed. You get very little feel for the qualities of the Luberon region itself; rather, this book is a study in the people and culture of the area. And by people, I mean the men, as most of the female characters, including Mayle's wife, who isn't even named at any point in the book, are swept into minor supporting roles. Mayle throws himself into the masculine culture of the builders and farmers he is surrounded by for a year, and all else seems to fall away. His descriptions of lush Provencal meals are skimpy, and the details of the countryside almost completely absent. In this, I found it not to be a travel book at all, but rather a memoir of a home remodel. All those complaints aside, Mayle does a fantastic job of rendering his characters, and I found it to be an enjoyable read despite those flaws.

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