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Best Foot Forward: A 500-Mile Walk Through Hidden France
 
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Best Foot Forward: A 500-Mile Walk Through Hidden France [Kindle Edition]

Susie Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: CDN$ 15.97
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Product Description

Product Description

A touching, true story of English eccentricity, the Texan pioneering spirit, and two women old enough to know better.

“A book to inspire” Good Housekeeping Magazine

When Susie Kelly decides, on a whim, to trek alone across France from La Rochelle to Lake Geneva in Switzerland, she entrusts her French farmhouse full of assorted animals to a total stranger from San Antonio, Texas. For each of them it is a life-changing experience. Both find their resourcefulness and ingenuity tested to the limit as, in their own ways, they explore and enjoy the culture, cuisine and people of Europe’s most fascinating country.

While Susie doggedly tramps 500 miles over unknown terrain, frequently lost and either too hot or too cold, Texan Jennifer Shields copes heroically with lost dogs, erratic electricity, old men hiding in bushes, and a language she cannot speak.

NEW! Now with integrated maps. Follow Susie's journey online as you read.

"This is one of the best travel books I have read to date. I thoroughly enjoyed reading every drop of it." (Bas Bleu, US Amazon Vine Voice)

"Susie is ... able to paint a picture with words that makes me feel like I am beside her on her journey. Perfect for the Francophile, the armchair adventurer, and the lover of good literature for this is surely literature." (US Amazon Vine Voice)

'I was worn out just reading this book - girl you have some courage and I salute you. I defy anyone not to love this book and all her others.' Twiggy Amazon UK

'I expected to learn, but not to laugh so much. What a great sense of humor Susie has! It makes her writing so endearing! She's down to earth, kind-hearted and insightful. You feel as though you are walking with her.' M D Johns Amazon US

'An incredible journey which provided this reader at least with a sense of having travelled with the author through her struggles.' A Common Reader, UK Amazon Vine Voice

'This book is truly a jewel not to be missed.' Jesse, US Amazon

Fans of Bill Bryson, Peter Mayle and of Wild: A Journey From Lost To Found by Cheryl Strayed will love this book.



About the Author

Born a Londoner, Susie Kelly spent most of the first 25 years of her life in Kenya, and now lives in south-west France with her husband and assorted animals. She's slightly scatterbrained and believes that compassion, courage and a sense of humor are the three essentials for surviving life in the 21st century. She gets on best with animals, eccentrics, and elderly people.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 807 KB
  • Print Length: 262 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1470919788
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Blackbird Digital Books (Jan. 13 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005UHJAK4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #72,165 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars what I wanted Aug. 20 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was looking for an entertaining book to keep me awake through a series of breaks on night shift. I enjoyed the book and am sorry that it is finished. I would recommend the book as an easy and informative dive into the French countryside and some of its small towns and cities. I am going to read more of Susie Kelly's books.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would have never thought I could be so addicted to a book about a woman who decided to walk 500 miles through the French countryside . This book was delightful. I only wish I would have had a map available so I could have followed along through the pathways, pastures, valleys , secondary roads and mountains. I only thought of that when she made it to the last leg of her journey. I felt her thrice over blisters, her excitement and disappointments of the campsites, her pleasure of the littlest extravagances, the description of the people she met along the way, her frustrations and sense of accomplishment. Most of all I want to visit LaJoux! I loved this book.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  79 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The trick is in the writing... Dec 2 2011
By Richard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
As a self confessed armchair traveller and long time Francophile, I am constantly in search of travelogues that give me that elusive combination of the feeling of 'being there' and intimacy. Having recently discovered 'The Valley of Heaven and Hell' by the same author, which gave me that combination in bucket loads, it was a delight to discover that she had written several other titles, all with the same accessible, authoritatively informative and - most importantly - effortlessly easy and entertaining style.

Susie Kelly seems to be one of those deliciously fortunate people to whom extraordinary things happen with an ease that makes you wonder what you are doing with your life; who for instance would advertise for someone -ANYONE - to house-sit her home and animals on the internet? Who would confidently expect sane replies? Who would, when they actually get them,see nothing unusual about the respondent being a complete stranger form Texas of all places, who turns out to be dependable, resourceful,and prepared to travel countless thousands of miles on the say-so of a stranger to a country she has never visited, and take on a role that a professional soldier might think twice about?

Joyously, this unlikely beginning is just the typically idiosyncratic precursor to a tale that takes in 500 miles of rural France and includes, in equal measure, laugh-out-loud tales of personal discomfort, disarmingly frank descriptions of the authors self doubt as to her sanity at taking on such a challenge, and absolutely oodles of insightful descriptions of the places she passes through, together with just the right amount of historical perspective.

In summary, as a searcher for books that allow me to feel in a very real way, that I am the traveller and that what happens to the writer, is happening to me, I found 'Best Foot Forward' to be almost perfect in every respect. it is warm, accessible, entertaining, genuine and informative. An all-round great read. And so much safer and cheaper than slogging across France on your own, with a Texan stranger looking after your worldly possessions!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very sweet and interesting read June 2 2013
By Ursula Garcia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There is no great tale in this book, but a collection of witty accounts, colorful vignettes, and sweet musings. It's nicely written, and you feel as if you've lived the moments with the author, from the blisters, rain, and grimy cafes, to hot showers and breathtaking scenery. A lovely read.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Winner! April 5 2012
By Dee Vine - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As an avid walker, traveler and reader, I found a winning combination in this well-written, humorous book. I admire Susie's spunk and tenacity which allowed her to fulfill a dream. Her story rekindled the desire in me to do something off-beat and daring. Thanks Susie!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing lady! April 2 2013
By bas bleu - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is one of the best travel books I have read to date. The authors ability to include all of her adventure is what made this book remarkable to me. '
She gives wonderful history of many of the towns and villages she visits, I learned lots of new things I did not know. How different places were the capitals of what they did best down through history. Susie really knows a lot of history about many of the places she traveled through and I thoroughly enjoyed reading every drop of it.
She gives wonderful descriptions of the beauty and the nature she sees and experiences as she travels along, I could imagine the mountain air, and her descriptions of the feel of being smothered by humidity and the sound of waterfalls, the look of deep clear blue pools of water. I even enjoyed her descriptions of lizards, and slugs, and now I know that the only truly dangerous snake in France is the Asp, which is very small .
I loved her descriptions and stories of the people she meets and the kindnesses shown to her along her long journey. I think maybe there is a bit of the loner in her , this probably contributes to her being a wonderful writer. Being less involved with needing to be around people surely would give one more time to introspect on the beautiful details she draws for us.
How she every concluded her trip with the problems she had with her feet and her eye, what tenacity, truly an admirable adventurer and even more amazing author. Before I started this review I ordered two more of her books to be delivered to my Kindle. The Valley of Heaven and Hell - Cycling in the shadow of Marie-Antoinette bicycling 500 miles through Paris and Versailles, the battlefields of World War 1. The second book I ordered was - Travels With Tinkerbelle- 6.000 Miles Around France in a Mechanical Wreck- a journey around the perimeter or France.
It took one book to make me want to read more. Susie is an excellent author, descriptive, informative, and able to paint a picture with words that makes me feel like I am beside her on her journey. Perfect for the Francophile, the armchair adventurer, and the lover of good literature for this is surely literature.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Foot Forward Nov. 16 2013
By Curious - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Wow, I can finally put my feet up and soothe those blisters! Just kidding. I felt I was walking the long 500 miles with Susie, but in my case from the comfort of my armchair. It takes a very adventurous soul for this kind of adventure. I got totally engrossed in the story which is how it should be. I'm now on this authors third book.
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