JG (The Introverted Reader)'s Reviews > A Year in Provence

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
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's review
Sep 26, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: own, 4_stars, z_author_british, biography_memoir, non-fiction, z_read_in_2010, reviewed, z_setting_france
Read from October 01 to 11, 2010

Peter Mayle and his wife finally decide to say goodbye to dreary British weather and move to sunny Provence in France. This book tells about their experiences living in Provence, from the colorful locals to the excellent food to the workmen who come and go like forces of nature.

This book had me ready to go on vacation in Provence. Notice that I don't say "move to Provence." I would starve. All those lovingly written descriptions of French food left me cold. I could survive for a week or two though.

Parts of this had me roaring with laughter. My favorite part was probably the goat race. Oh my gosh! I read this on one of my last nights at my old job, and let me tell you, I was doing my best to hold back my laughter while sitting around on my downtime in the emergency room, but little snickers and giggles were escaping, and I had tears rolling down my face. Not exactly the appropriate place for that, but luckily I was tucked away in my little corner, and I don't think anybody noticed. I hope.

Another of my favorite parts was the translation of the French person's body language. I'm sure it's different, but I hope this gives me a place to start in translating my Cuban father-in-laws body language. He doesn't just tell a story, he enacts it, with hands flying everywhere.

I think any homeowner can relate to the stories of the workmen. At least these guys did show up, but, wow, I don't know if that's good or bad. The Mayles did come up with an ingenious way to get them back to work though. I may have to give that a try sometime...

So there's no big, earth-shattering plot here. This still felt like a vacation in a book, and it's nice to come across those every once in a while.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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message 1: by Misty (new)

Misty So...I saw your tweet the other day that said your husband's cultural studies (or whatever) teacher asked him where this book takes place...I meant to reply with my complete bafflement and disappointment, but I forgot. Allow me to do so now.
O_o [bafflement]
>.< [disappointment]

JG (The Introverted Reader) Thank you. I feel justified now. She seems to mostly know about Spanish countries, but still Provence? Don't we all want to visit there?

message 3: by Misty (new)

Misty EVEN if you hadn't actually heard of Provence, and EVEN if you're not all that culturally aware (which she should be, considering), wouldn't the pronunciation kinda tip you off? I mean, really.

JG (The Introverted Reader) Well, he emailed her (it's an online class), so she might not have known how it's pronounced. But I think if I were a teacher, I would just google it rather than admit my ignorance to a student. I still don't know how you're a cultural studies teacher and you don't know where Provence is. It's not like it's buried in the jungles of Africa or something equally remote.

message 5: by Misty (new)

Misty Right. Is she maybe adjunct faculty? Because when I was a tutor, we had to deal directly with faculty at times (and me more so than most, because I organized things) and we had some real doozies, lemme tell ya.

JG (The Introverted Reader) No idea. She is terrible though. She seems to think that all the online students still live within driving distance of the campus, so she's asked them to write reports of some events on campus. And for a class that everyone is only taking for the credits, I've lost count of the number of 8-10 page papers he's had to write. I think it's been at least 8. I'm even sick of all the writing assignments. He'll be done as of tomorrow night though. I'm excited! Because you can guess who's been revising all those 8-10 page papers, can't you?

message 7: by Misty (new)

Misty That's crazy!

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