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On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  4,828 ratings  ·  306 reviews
Susan Loomis arrived in Paris twenty years ago with little more than a student loan and the contents of a suitcase to sustain her. But what
began then as an apprenticeship at La Varenne École de Cuisine evolved into a lifelong immersion in French cuisine and culture, culminating in permanent residency in 1994. On Rue Tatin chronicles her journey to an ancient little street
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 28th 2002 by Broadway Books (first published 2001)
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May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The American expatriate writers who flooded into Gertude Stein’s little Abstract Expressionist-bedecked parlour in the Fifties left France sadly, eventually, with the acrid taste of Sartrean pessimism in their parched throats.

Not so Susan Loomis in Normandy. She had a Wonderful Time.

She loved the quirky French and the old-world charm of their quaint ancient villages...

Without their philosophy!

Cause, for her, their impeccably alluring French cuisine was TO DIE FOR!

So she stayed. A long time.

Nov 12, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
Jul 24, 2015 rated it liked it
I really want to move. Would never, ever work but this book totally made me dream.
Jan 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Elysia Fionn
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Leigh Kramer
Feb 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, food, memoir
How is it possible to paint a dreamy yet realistic vision of life in France? Loomis drew me in from the start and while I'm not going to pack my bags for Paris quite yet, she did have me considering the possibilities of life abroad. Oh, to have a life revolving around food and restored convents like them!
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of ex pat literature and France
Shelves: 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
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Hmmm. I basically blew through this, it was the perfect read for a weekend on the lake. Lately I've been kind of into these really twee, wish-fulfillment, ooh i live in france and cook all the time type books. It's fun to read and imagine having such a charmed life! But this one, idk, something about her writing style really bugged me. I think the overuse of the word 'for' as 'because' maybe? Which isn't grammatically incorrect or anything, but for some reason it just really bugged me and made t ...more
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it

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
If you're a regular on my blog you know I'm drawn to anything France & vaguely foodie related. On Rue Tatin may not be for everyone, some may even find the everyday minutia tedious but for someone dreaming of living in France it's a vicariously fascinating read.

Seriously by the last page I was wondering who I'd have to kill bribe to make my dream a reality ;)

After doing a chef's apprenticeship in France, Susan returns to America but later moves to France with husband and son in tow to live the
Kathleen Valentine
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Jennifer Forest
Apr 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Being a Francophile trapped in the Midwest, I enjoyed every minute of the author's transformation to a life in Normandy, France. I now own the book so I can enjoy browsing through it anytime. If you enjoy quaint villages, charming characters, home redos, and also the craziness of family life reconstruction in a new place, WITH recipes, what could stop you from loving On Rue Tatin?
Nov 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Why do we read this type of text except for a vicarious thrill and the gleaning of little details of French life? I can't understand the sometimes negative reviews here. This isn't a work of fiction and these people seem to be reading it in the wrong spirit if they expect it to be. For what it is, a chronicle of one woman and her family's life in France. I found it enjoyable and would recommend it. If a few readers are by now jaded thinking it yet ANOTHER Peter Mayle, Ann Barry, et al. tale, wel ...more
Esther Brumme
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Susan's account of her first years in Louviers, France reads like a relaxed walk in the park, stopping to look at a recipe book. It feels to me a little less novel of a travel memoir due to the fact that her everyday is our everyday. It's just our daily life in France. I had expected more of a dramatic storyline, but it was still an enjoyable read. Her astute observations of the land and the culture are another reminder of how wonderful our mundane, normal life is in this magnificent country.
Apr 13, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Jul 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
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!
Apr 08, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
It was interesting to find out more about France and how living there can be totally inconvenient especially if you're an americaine stupide that buys a wreck of a place...
Kathleen Kosiec
Jan 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Reminds me of Chocolat and Under the Tuscan Sun. Beautiful food writing and the descriptions of the renovation process on an old house were very interesting.
Lindsey K
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have a serious love affair with Europe in general, and any time I read a book about someone's life in France, it makes me want to jump on a plane and change my place of residence immediately. Susan makes Louviers come to life, and I thoroughly enjoyed living vicariously through her stories! Thank you for sharing your experience with us!
Jun 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I have had this book on my To Be Read list for quite a while. If you love all things French, this is the book for you. Susan Loomis, her husband and young son move from Maine to France to enjoy life in the Normandy region of France. Susan is writing a cook book, her husband is remodeling the old house they have purchased and young Joe is experiencing preschool in a new country. Susan is a master story teller, sharing what is is like for an American to experience a different culture. Along with t ...more
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Another of my "books that I owned and hadn't read" pile.

I didn't know what I was getting into going into it, but I ended up with a pleasant-enough memoir about, basically, falling in love with France. Cooking school, house renovation, working from home, having a baby. Nothing earth-shattering, but extremely pleasant. (Also a case study in "know the right people"!)

The book really excels in painting a picture of life in small town (??? seemed like it in the book) France, to the point where I got o
Calee Spinney
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Yet another great book that leaves me day dreaming about the possibilities of owning a home and living in France. I really enjoyed her food-centered stories, and the recipes all sounded delicious.
Theresa Gienapp
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lovely, perfect book for the cabin. Transports the reader to the beautiful French countryside - the recipes scattered throughout are lovely and tempting. A delightful summer read.
Jun 08, 2018 rated it liked it
So she goes to Paris for culinary school, is offered a writing job in addition to cooking, falls in love with both Paris and an area that's part suburb/part rural in France, gets married, decides to buy an old convent that needs a TON of work, and basically lives happily ever after.
I have to say that first, the recipes at the end of each chapter instead of at the end of the book was a distraction. She complains quite a bit about how the French seem to do things, yet she stays for the food, her
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a charming story with many dog-eared recipes. Dreaming even more of our upcoming stay in France, hoping the very long holiday is as delightful as Susan's!
Feb 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
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You know the saying: There's no time like the present...unless you're looking for a distraction from the current moment. In that case, we can't...
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“MAMIE JACQUELINE’S CHOCOLATE CAKE G ÂTEAU AU CHOCOLAT DE MAMIE JACQUELINE One of Joe’s friends, Florian, accompanies us on vacation from time to time and his grandmother often sends along a little treat for us all. This cake was an offering once and we tucked into it the minute we arrived at our destination. It was tender and delicious. When we returned, I asked Mamy Jacqueline for her recipe and she scoffed, “Oh, that simple little cake?” When I pressed she rattled off the ingredients by heart. A surefire success whenever I make it, you need only serve it simply sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar. 3/4 cup/100g cake flour Sea salt 7 ounces/200g bitter chocolate, such as Lindt 70% 8 tablespoons/125g unsalted butter, softened 1 cup/200g sugar 4 large eggs, separated Confectioners’ sugar 1. Butter and flour a 91/2-inch/24-cm round cake pan. Preheat the oven to 375° F/190° C/gas 5. 2. Sift the flour and a generous pinch of salt onto a piece of parchment paper. 3. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over medium-high heat. Transfer the chocolate to a medium-size bowl and whisk in the butter until the mixture is smooth. Vigorously whisk in all but 1 tablespoon of the sugar, then add the egg yolks and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour mixture 1 tablespoon at a time until combined. 4. In a large bowl whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they are foamy and begin to thicken. Add the remaining tablespoon of sugar and continue whisking until they form soft peaks. Fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then turn it into the prepared baking pan and bake in the center of the oven until the cake springs back, 20 to 25 minutes. 5. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool to lukewarm in the pan, then turn it out onto a rack to cool thoroughly. To serve, sprinkle it with confectioners’ sugar. 6 TO 8 SERVINGS SIX                 Mornings in Louviers LOUVIERS IS MAGIC in the mornings.” 0 likes
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