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A Year in Provence [Paperback]

Peter Mayle
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 4 1991 Vintage Departures

National Bestseller 

In this witty and warm-hearted account, Peter Mayle tells what it is like to realize a long-cherished dream and actually move into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the remote country of the Lubéron with his wife and two large dogs. He endures January's frosty mistral as it comes howling down the Rhône Valley, discovers the secrets of goat racing through the middle of town, and delights in the glorious regional cuisine. A Year in Provence transports us into all the earthy pleasures of Provençal life and lets us live vicariously at a tempo governed by seasons, not by days.

Frequently Bought Together

A Year in Provence + Toujours Provence + Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France
Price For All Three: CDN$ 38.16

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Product Description

From Amazon

Who hasn't dreamed, on a mundane Monday or frowzy Friday, of chucking it all in and packing off to the south of France? Provençal cookbooks and guidebooks entice with provocatively fresh salads and azure skies, but is it really all Côtes-du-Rhône and fleur-de-lis? Author Peter Mayle answers that question with wit, warmth, and wicked candor in A Year in Provence, the chronicle of his own foray into Provençal domesticity.

Beginning, appropriately enough, on New Year's Day with a divine luncheon in a quaint restaurant, Mayle sets the scene and pits his British sensibilities against it. "We had talked about it during the long gray winters and the damp green summers," he writes, "looked with an addict's longing at photographs of village markets and vineyards, dreamed of being woken up by the sun slanting through the bedroom window." He describes in loving detail the charming, 200-year-old farmhouse at the base of the Lubéron Mountains, its thick stone walls and well-tended vines, its wine cave and wells, its shade trees and swimming pool--its lack of central heating. Indeed, not 10 pages into the book, reality comes crashing into conflict with the idyll when the Mistral, that frigid wind that ravages the Rhône valley in winter, cracks the pipes, rips tiles from the roof, and tears a window from its hinges. And that's just January.

In prose that skips along lightly, Mayle records the highlights of each month, from the aberration of snow in February and the algae-filled swimming pool of March through the tourist invasions and unpredictable renovations of the summer months to a quiet Christmas alone. Throughout the book, he paints colorful portraits of his neighbors, the Provençaux grocers and butchers and farmers who amuse, confuse, and befuddle him at every turn. A Year in Provence is part memoir, part homeowner's manual, part travelogue, and all charming fun. --L.A. Smith

From Publishers Weekly

An account of the author's first frustrating but enlightening year in Provence opens with a memorable New Year's lunch and closes with an impromptu Christmas dinner. "In nimble prose, Mayle . . . captures the humorous aspects of visits to markets, vineyards and goat races, and hunting for mushrooms," said PW. Author tour. Illustrated.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful! April 21 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Such skill with words, the author took me there and thoroughly entertained me. Also made me hungry! A great story!
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5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful glimpse Jan. 27 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A lighthearted whimsical look at life in a wonderful place. Makes you want to go. An easy read but a great journey.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Endearingly Funny! Sept. 30 2013
I read this book before, during, and after we toured Provence and absolutely loved it. It's one of those books one keeps to read again when one feels nostalgic about this magical part of France. Mr. Mayle's humor, his gentle yet pointed observations of the various French characters he meets and deals with, not to mention welcome and sometimes UNwelcome guests, his descriptions of the countryside, the towns,they all come together to make wonderful, cheerful reading. I love all his books that I have read so far, including "Anything Considered" another favorite, and "TouJours Provence" which I am saving to read when I go on vacation!

The fact that I have loved Provence, and in fact, all of France, from the get-go has certainly influence my opinion!
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5.0 out of 5 stars This book is great April 2 2013
By Peggy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It's and older book, but is an easy read, and very humorous and well written. It's one of those laugh out loud books!
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4.0 out of 5 stars The French and food? March 8 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Funny and very well written. The way Peter Mayle describes how the French have this love affair with food is hilarious.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Year in Provence Feb. 9 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My friends who live in Provence invited me to visit and hopefully I will do just that this coming summer. I will have a very good knowledge of their habits and therefore will know how to behave. Very very good reading.
I will certainly read Peter Mayle,s other books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Light Humourously Written Read Jan. 27 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read this book once already in soft cover. I decided after a lot of years that I wanted to read it again but found it easier to read on my IPad so I purchased the online version. It puts you in a place that we only dream of, the south of France and the dry humor & wit of Peter Mayle takes you through an amazing journey of life renovations & makes you laugh out loud and yearn to have the same experience. One day....;)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait to move! Feb. 11 2004
By Hank
A wonderful read that I continue to share with friends and family.
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