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My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  2,752 ratings  ·  366 reviews
The beloved author Peter Mayle, champion of all things Provence, here in a final volume of all new writing, offers vivid recollections from his twenty-five years in the South of France--lessons learned, culinary delights enjoyed, and changes observed.

Twenty-five years ago, Peter Mayle and his wife, Jennie, were rained out of a planned two week vacation on the Cote d'Azur.
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published June 26th 2018 by Knopf Publishing Group
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Average rating 3.88  · 
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Diane S ☔
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 Another favored author who passed at the beginning of this year. This book of essays Chronicles the many years he and his wife spent in Provence. Some have been issued before, some are new, but all are his last published words.

This book made me laugh, his writings always contain humor and as one can imagine starting life in a new country one must have a great deal of humor.

Made me hungry, as he explores area cafes and restaurants, with descriptive examples of wonderful food, good meals.

Jul 04, 2018 rated it liked it
I remember first reading A Year in Provence a year or two after my first trip there. I was jealous some Brit moved there and made an enjoyable life for himself. My memories of place were so compelling, something about his story made me ache.
Years have passed. I saw this book in the bookstore and picked it up just to leaf through. I had no intention of reading another story of his life in Provence. Then I flipped to the back cover, saw a photo of this smiling happy man - taken by his wife of for
Aug 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When asked about dying, Mayle was quoted as saying, and I paraphrase: "I loathe funerals...I'd prefer to have a lavish lunch for a few close friends...and die before the bill arrives." Obviously, he kept his sense of humor right up until the end. His books are a testimony to his love for everything Provence. This, his final one, is no exception. Absolutely delightful~ ...more
Helen Yoest
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reading the last words by Peter Mayle was sad on it's own; and I'm not sure if this tiny treasure of his reflective experiences was to be further developed or not. In any case, I cherished each word and enjoyed the feeling of calmness Mayle projects.

I wonder if everyone living anywhere should write these kind of stories. The roots, where we called home, are worth reminiscing about. This may or may not have been his intention, but he has inspired me for my #LivingTheLifeOfRaleigh for 30 years.
Andrea Cox
This was a pretty good memoir. I was disappointed in the crudity, profanity, and expletives included, but I did feel that I learned a lot about life in France as an outsider trying to carve out a nice little life there. The atmosphere in this memoir was wonderful and made it really easy for me to feel transported across the Atlantic Ocean to a land not my own.

Content: nudity, brothels, alcohol, crude discussion, crude gesture, expletives, profanity, bars, selling alcohol to minors, drugs
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
We've all loved following Peter Mayle's journey to a new life in Provence, his funny stories of cultural differences, acclimation, and adaptation. This is a little book of essays that sum up his experiences, highlighting some of his favorite times in twenty-five years of an Englishman living in France. ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is yet another gem from Peter Mayle! In this short treasure, he sums up the joys and idiosyncrasies of his life in his adopted home of the past twenty-five years, Provence. He has always written with joy and humor, and this one is no exception, as he tells about summer guests, sneaky truffle hunters, the joys of French dining, and the French language. He concludes his book by sharing the story of when he became a knight of the Legion of Honor, a huge honor, especially for an Englishman.

I ha
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
A sweet ending to a lovely body of work. Sadly, the author passed shortly before publication. I would recommend his earlier books on Provence for those that want the full armchair travel experience. This one serves mainly as a recap and update.
Charming book that finishes Mayle's Provence, France books. It a than and now type format and much will be familiar to those who have read his other Provence books. Nice way to end. ...more
Another instance when I wish I could award half stars to a book. My 25 Years in Provence definitely is worthy of at least 2-1/2 stars. In good conscience, I could not quite go up to three.
At times, I was drawn into Mayle's recollections of his many years living in Provence. But those few times didn't go far enough to compel me to really like this memoir of 179 pages. He obviously loved his adopted country, Provence in particular. But he just didn't go deep enough into why he was ready to bid adi
Carolyn Harris
Apr 29, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable book for the experience of travel at a time when actual travel is not advisable. There are some really evocative descriptions of Provencal marketplaces, cafes and vineyards with lots of understated humour. There's even a chapter about the author attending a royal visit to France hosted by President Chirac. The audiobook is narrated by John Lee, who is excellent (I also enjoyed his narration of Doctor Zhivago). A pleasant and relaxing listen. ...more
Lisa of Hopewell
Aug 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
Like so many others, I loved Peter Mayles Provence books and the tv series they spawned. Not too long ago I read one of his novels, and enjoyed it well enough. When I heard that he had died in January I was genuinely sad. It was like losing if not an old friend then a losing a very special acquaintance.

This book, sadly, his last, is full of really nice leftover piece that never found a home in his other books. If he’d had a blog–these would be the “best of” posts. One reviewer called this little
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I discovered this short book on the new non-fiction shelf of the library. I didn't realize that Peter Mayle had passed away last year until I read the fly-leaf. This book of short vignettes is Mayle at his best, and reminded me why I fell in love with his books many years ago. It's a wonderful farewell, and made me want to live in Provence all over again. ...more
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Peter Mayle's first two books, A Year in Provence and Toujours Provence were simply wonderful - maybe because they were one of the first of what has now become a flood of House Hunters International real estate porn books. His later efforts have not been so good. His mystery series is mediocre and his novels aren't much better, however, I had hope for this slim volume of memories of Mayle's twenty-five years in Provence.

Sadly, I was disappointed. This book is just a rehash of his other efforts.
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I'm sad that Peter Mayle passed in January 2018. I really loved his other Provence books, and this one was wonderful too! I spent a week in Provence in May, and this brought back fond memories of my time there. I especially liked the reference to the "spectacular outbreaks of scarlet poppies in fields...".

I'm now planning to read some of his other novels (already read The Marseille Caper and The Corsican Caper).
Gabriella Stoy
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021-read
I discovered Peter Mayle in 2014 after my first vacation in Provence. I love all his books. Unfortunately this is the last book he wrote 😔I hope Heaven is reproduced after Provence or Provence after Heaven.
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
in love with the book, the author's style and now I have even more reasons to visit Provence ...more
Doug Garrett
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
I needed a respite from heavy reading and this was perfect. Makes me want to head to southern France!
Mar 28, 2020 rated it liked it
A wonderful, easy, lighthearted,escapist read all about the finer things in life -food, wine,a beautiful view and good company.
Sep 24, 2020 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars

My review of this book can be found on my Youtube Vlog at:

Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Want to go back now!
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Meh. It gave a decent overview of life in France, and what customs they have. I want to give the author's works of fiction a try. ...more
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: france
Beautiful area, interesting people and interesting stories. Makes me want to buy a ticket today.
Towar N. Vilas
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Another, but sadly, the final book from Peter about Provence. I read all his books but loved his Provence stories the most. His passing is like losing a friend.
Judith Searle
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed it, having read his previous books.
Mar 23, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: medical-school
Very sweet, simple, atmospheric read. Maybe this is the spiritual predecessor of Mimi Thorisson's blog Manger, which I actually recommend people read 'cover to cover' once, if only for the photography. ...more
Polly Patterson
Light and breezy for our current armchair-travel only covid situation. Fun for anyone who's been lucky enough to spend time in Provence as many of the anecdotes will be a bit familiar and bring up fun memories while adding insight from someone who's far more familiar. ...more
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
Meh. I'd rather read Chasing Cezanne again. ...more
Jun 03, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For fans of the late Peter Mayle, a nice souvenir. Not of interest to the general reader.
Linda Smatzny
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Entertaining essays about life in Provence. This is last book by the author before his death in 2018. The includes some color photos that illustrate one of the essays. It is the French countryside at its best. The book was a quick easy read.
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Peter Mayle (born June 14, 1939, in Brighton) was a British author famous for his series of books detailing life in Provence, France. He spent fifteen years in advertising before leaving the business in 1975 to write educational books, including a series on sex education for children and young people. In 1989, A Year in Provence was published and became an international bestseller. His books have ...more

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