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

4 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Length: 220 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Review

"A book to inspire" Good Housekeeping Magazine "This is one of the best travel books I have read to date. I thoroughly enjoyed reading every drop of it." Bas Bleu "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." Jo-Anne Himmelman "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 Reviewer

Product Description

When Susie Kelly decides, at the age of 50+, 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. 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.

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.

With detailed map links, chapter x chapter Follow Susie's journey online as you read.

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

"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)

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. Jo-Anne Himmelman, Amazon Canada

"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

“A book to inspire”

Good Housekeeping Magazine

Fans of Wild: A Journey From Lost To Found by Cheryl Strayed will enjoy this book about long distance walking that is about so much more than long distance walking.




Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 708 KB
  • Print Length: 220 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Blackbird Digital Books (Jan. 13 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005UHJAK4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #103,370 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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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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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A frustrating and painful read. I want to ask the author: "Why didn't you prepare for this excursion, with appropriate clothing, tent and sleeping bag?" Too much time is spent on details of losing her way. I live in Canada, and we don't end up with water running down the walls of our tents! I don't find this amusing or entertaining. I would have enjoyed more exploration of the French towns, cultural activities, and conversation with local residents.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa4199204) out of 5 stars 123 reviews
23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa41afc48) 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!
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa41afc9c) out of 5 stars Reading this was more painful than walking 500 miles May 9 2012
By Vancouver Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I "borrowed" this book for Kindle and the kindest thing that I can say is that paying nothing for it was the correct price. This is a story of an English woman who walks and whines from La Rochelle to Lake Geneva. If you think you will gain some insight into this region of France or its people, think again. The descriptions of people and places seem very flat (particularly compared to the descriptions of dogs, horses, snakes, birds, spiders, etc. which are of far more interest to the writer than adults, or God forbid children who obviously annoy her greatly). Some of the "information" that she provides is simply hard to believe. "There was a time when motorists would deliberately hit deer and boar to win a free meal...". Seriously?? There was a time when the French were driving along trying to mow down a deer or a wild boar as a means of hunting??

I only wish I could give this zero stars.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa41b20f0) 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.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa41b20d8) 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.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa41b24a4) out of 5 stars Not really her best foot forward April 19 2013
By Barbara - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a hiker and walker but only daily hikes. I enjoy reading about people who do longer treks, esp. when they put it together themselves or in a small group, and when it's in Europe. Susie has not done much hiking and does some pretty unsafe things during her trip. (Had old maps, bought inappropriate tents, etc., walked with bad feet not cared for and didn't take care of an eye problem.) She seemed more intent on reaching the last city than enjoying her journey.