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How Blue is my Valley: the real Provence

3.36  ·  Rating details ·  167 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Humorous travel book about moving to France from IPPY and Global Ebook Award Winner Jean Gill
'Laugh out loud ... such a vivid picture of the fields of lavender, sunflowers and olive trees that you could almost be there with her.' - Living France Magazine

The true scents of Provence? Lavender, thyme and septic tank.

There are hundreds of interesting things you can do i
Kindle Edition, 206 pages
Published March 20th 2008
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Karen Charlton
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘How Blue is my Valley’ should have a sub-title: ‘And how Green and Soggy was the one I left behind.’
This book, Jean Gill’s honest, witty and charming account of how she, her man and a menagerie of pets left their rainy Welsh Valley and moved to the sunshine and lavender-scented countryside in Provence is delightful. I couldn’t stop smiling as she compared the well-disciplined flocks of French goats with the thuggish little bovids she encountered back in Wales. Jean picks up on every nuance of h
Feb 19, 2017 rated it did not like it
Too jumbled

The title states, "the real Provence", yet why did everything discuss Wales? The part about Provence, the resistance, etc. was very interesting. Wales, not so much. Why doesn't the author talk about the real Wales in one book and the real Provence in another? I skimmed the last 40% of the book and only read the parts about Provence.
Jan 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Unreadable. It reads like she collected a bunch of thoughts from scraps of paper and decided it was a book.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Had to throw in the towel on this one. So disappointing.
Jena Henry
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Take a look again at the cover of this book. Isn’t it a lovely, standout display? It drew me in and called to me to read this book. The title is similar to a popular Welsh book and film from 70 years ago, so I wondered if there would be a connection to Wales. Yes, there is. And the cover shows field of lavender, so I wondered if there would be a link to Provence, France. Yes, again.

Author Jean Gill writes about her move from Wales to Dieulefit, France. The town name means “God made it”, and it i
Ronald Mackay
Apr 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How Blue Is My Valley The Real Provence by Jean Gill After finishing Jean Gill’s “How Blue is my Valley” I felt as though I’d just had a panoramic and refreshing conversation with an entertaining companion. You can’t have a conversation with a book? Of course you can! – All you have to do is nod enthusiastically so as to encourage the author.

With her wealth of experience, enquiring mind, broad knowledge and deep curiosity, Jean Gill never loses your attention as she ricochets between facets of an older life in Wales and a newer one in France.
Paul Trembling
It takes a certain amount of courage to leave behind a place where you've built a life and move to a different country to start again from scratch. It perhaps takes even more courage, plus a fair bit of honesty, to write about it and share the experience with everybody.

Fortunately, these seem to be qualities that Jean Gill has in abundance - along with a great sense of humour, some down to earth wisdom accumulated the hard way, and a lot of enthusiasm for life. All this comes out as she shares t
Julie  Whitley
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The first year of a new life in Provence

A lovely autobiography of an English-born Scotswoman from Wales, who moved to Provence, France with her husband, dogs and cat to start a new chapter in their lives. With humour and delightful descriptions, we live through the first year with Ms Gill as workmen tear apart and renovate her home, while she and her husband meanwhile explore their new surroundings, learn the language, the food, the cheese! and the exquisite scenery.
In reading, I felt like I was
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aside from the fact that this is about a work life in Wales and a retirement to France, it resonates well with moving from suburbs to a farm in rural Wisconsin. Or maybe Australia. Certainly the cultural differences and language learning and refining are quite specific and enjoyable to learn about in such a fun read, but learning to live rural does sound incredibly similar! Her sense of humor is contagious and delightful.
If, like me, you have no French nor Welsh and find the need to pronounce d
David Raymond
May 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An entertaining travelogue

The book tells the story of the writers move from South Wales to the south of France. The story is told with laugh aloud humour. Grateful to escape Welsh weather there is still some nostalgia for Wales where she was eventually adopted by her Welsh neighbours.
From Her good natured description of her French neighbours it seems as if she is having the same effect on them. Jean Gill has also had that affect on this reader. Her struggles with the languages both Welsh and F
Mrs Vanessa Barber
Oct 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Just a little too much flour and not enought doe for me

I'm a real lover of people taking themselves into new countries and cultures, i should know I've lived in many countries myself.
I found the book just way too elaborate a with little detailed substance for my personal liking.
But I feel anyone taking the time to publish such memoirs deserves at the very least an honest review.

Good look

Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a long time to read this book because it is non- fiction, no plot and I would read it on my Kindle only when waiting, like in a dr. office. It is an entertaining read about a Brit moving to France. Some hilarious incidents offset the more mundane aspects of their move and adjustments. If you have ever lived in a country other than your native one, or want to, the author describes the pitfalls and joys of adjustments to cultural differences.
Caffeinated Weka
I tried to get into this book as the topic looked really interesting but couldn't find a way in. The writing was a complete jumble of names, places and random events. I reread so many long-sentenced paragraphs trying to work out whether the action was happening in France or Wales and gave up after two chapters.
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Big fan of these kind of books and was thrilled with Jean Gill's take on life in Provence from an expat's point of view ! Liked her witty writing style and I'm happy she has many more books that I can delight in !
Apr 10, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I didn't finish. I didn't have a problem with the parts about Wales like other folks. I just didn't find it interesting. The author wrote about cheese, mushrooms, olives with tips on who to buy things from but that's not why I'm reading this book and how would these vendors still be around?
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Somewhat in the navel-gazing genre, but there are some interesting observations of the world in Provence.
Jun 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Hard to follow during much of the narrative. Kind of written in a stream of consciousness. But, amid the convoluted passages are some lovely stories & descriptions of France.
Peta-Dee Rawlinson
I found this to be quite a lovely read. Easy to pick up and read bits at a time between jobs. Quite amusing in places and very enjoyable
Sep 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Funny and witty, good book. My only problem with it was the writing. Long sentences, too many brackets, which made one sentence into a full paragraph. Started to read a sentence and by the time I finished it I had no idea what it started with.
Asuka Mai
Oct 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book while i read it, its very interesting and funny, it makes me laugh many times , very entertaining!
Thanks to the author Jean Gill that has sent this book to me... i am so happy, she is very nice and kind ^^
Well i am so lucky that i won this book from Goodreads giveaway :D

This book tells about what like the experience ltransition from one country to another country, which must adapting the culture and the language that very different one..making an old house become a new
J.G. Harlond
May 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that transcends genre; it's as much a travel book as a personal memoir - as is the best travel writing, I suppose - thinking here of Bruce Chatwin. Gill sets out to entertain; her account of dealing with day-to-day household affairs in a new location and in a different language is very amusing. But there are also some poignant details and some beautiful descriptions of her valley in Provence. Anyone who has moved to a very different location to where one grew up or, in ...more
Kristin Gleeson
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a lovely account of one person's experience of living in Wales and Provence where life can take on unexpected challenges and pleasures. Written in a very witty sort of stream of consciousness it is a memoir that I found totally absorbing and at times very funny. It's a book that gives the reader a real and vivid insight into the area and what it's like to upsticks and move to another country and culture. Highly recommended.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a bit to get into this one for some reason (two or three chapters), but once I got used to the author's style, I thoroughly enjoyed her honesty, charm and witty humor.
Oct 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gentle and funny read. I really enjoyed it and have passed it on to my sister to read.
Dawn Ferguson
rated it did not like it
Jul 11, 2019
Rachele Baker
rated it liked it
Feb 02, 2014
Adrian Sturrock
rated it it was amazing
Nov 25, 2017
mary l. ripnick
rated it did not like it
Jan 14, 2017
Sara Wilkinson
rated it it was ok
Aug 19, 2019
Terry Jones
rated it liked it
Jan 14, 2017
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Francophiles: **CLOSED **GIVEAWAY Audiobook of 'How Blue is My Valley' 10 8 Dec 26, 2015 09:18PM  
The Writers' Netw...: Goodreads giveaway 1 11 Oct 05, 2013 11:16PM  

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Jean Gill is a Welsh writer and photographer living in the south of France with two scruffy dogs, a beehive named 'Endeavour', a Nikon D750 and a man. For many years, she taught English in Wales and was the first woman to be a secondary headteacher in Carmarthenshire. She is mother or stepmother to five children so life was hectic.

Publications are varied, including prize-winning poetry and novels,

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