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01 March 2015

TBR Pile Challenge | A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle | Vintage Books, a division of Random House | May 1991, originally published 1989 | Paperback $10.00

★ ★ ★ ★

Peter Mayle is well-known for his series of books on the life of a British ex-pat in Provence (a region in southeastern France). I got a small set of these books a few years ago from a local library's used book sale.

I'd been meaning to try them out for a while, as I'm admittedly something of a freshman Francophile. I know just enough French to be able to guess at the offerings on a menu or do an impressive job of mispronouncing things. I had the good fortune to be able to go to Paris about a decade ago, too, and that amazing experience is one of my most treasured memories.

My generally rosy view of all things fran├žais must obviously color my perception of this first book in Mayle's Provence series. Reading it was something like enjoying a particularly luxurious meal, set in 12 courses (a chapter for each month of the year). The beauty of this arrangement of short "slice-of-life" stories is that I could easily read this book in short sittings, just before bed or while waiting in line or during a rushed lunch break.

Actually, I had to stop reading it at lunch because the only thing more depressing than eating a microwave meal in an office break room is eating a microwave meal in an office break room while reading about someone halfway around the world having a perfect feast in their perfect courtyard in perfect weather (with perfect wine). There is A LOT of food and drink in this book. Most of the stories involve food or wine in some way, even if they aren't specifically about food or wine. I'm really looking forward to reading Mayle's food-focused French Lessons (on my Foodies Read list this year).

Publication information: Mayle, Peter. A Year in Provence. New York: Vintage Books, 1991. Print.

Source: Public library used book sale.

Disclaimer: I am not compensated, monetarily or otherwise, for reviews of books or other products.


Rob said...

I loved A Year in Provence and Toujours Provence, I have a few of his other books on the shelf and should really pick another up.

JaneGS said...

I've read A Year in Provence a couple of times plus a smattering of Mayle's other books. They are fun to read and make me itch to travel in France, and the nailed it. These books, and Mayle's life, seem to revolve around food.

I also really enjoyed the mini-series, which I've watched numerous times.

Louise said...

Oh, cool, I didn't even know there was a miniseries! I'm going to have to hunt that down.

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