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The Price of Water in Finistere [Paperback]

Bodil Malmsten
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Jan. 23 2006
A woman abandons her native country at the age of 55 to settle in Brittany, and one day she promises to write about her beloved “bit of paradise.” Malmsten’s passion and humour offer the reader a window into a solitary life at once touching, and thought-provoking.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In 2000, poet and writer Malmsten left the false promises, small-mindedness and cold weather of her native Sweden for the remote seaside French village of Finistère, "where the land comes to an end in Europe—fin des terres, finis terrae." If not engrossing, this memoir—about trying, unsuccessfully, to get away from the world—has a quiet and honest charm. At her new Brittany home, Malmsten putters in her garden and enjoys her solitude, but the project of writing a book about her time in Finistère forces her to express what she previously only had to live through. While commenting on petty but humorous annoyances like the high-priced resource of the title, her botanical struggles and her few ventures into friendship, Malmsten dwells on her happiness in the face of her leftist despair about the state of the world. The book moves with an episodic, sluggish pace but might appeal to both lovers of a quiet book about the garden and the more socially minded who struggle with "the guilt of the privileged." (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


At just the point when most sensible people are settling into the routines of middle age, a fiercely independent woman abandons her home for a new life in France.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars Aug. 18 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book about living in France and living alone, serious but gentle commentary.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cultivating one's garden May 13 2006
By Beckett - Published on
The price of water in Finistere is a book with dimensions from here to paradise. It can be read or eaten, or both.

I have read it as a manifest for breaking up, as an inspirig script for gardening, as an historical book and what not.

Bodil Malmsten has the gift of putting a glimpse of eternity in the everyday life. The language itself is a glimpse of eternity - the way she spellbounds the reader by using no other word but that which is just perfect. Her way of making a sentence by putting together the words you never thought you would see in the same context simply makes every second of reading an adventure.

Bodil M invites the reader into her private room without getting sentimental. She will laugh with you, cry with you - she even yells at you but never without blaming herself first and foremost. This is a book about what it is to be human, but without the scholarcrap. Read and proceed, cultivate your garden with The price of water in Finistere.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A welcome new voice to these shores May 11 2006
By Stuart Klipper - Published on
This is a lovely piece of work. A wise and lively book filled with both verve and insight. The writer is a mature woman with an idiosyncratic ?lan who retains a girlish vivacity and whimsy. Her insights and observations are both fine and fun, serious and serendipitous. She tells about her two homes; the one she hails, and the one where she's staked a new claim -- one that made her who she is, and the other she is making her own. Her mounting passion for gardening and how she recounts her progress -- or lack thereof -- offers a full dollop of wonderful lagniappe. Her politics are honestly rendered; she is not out to preach or proselytize, they are just part and parcel of all her other wherewithal.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If one is good, two is better Jan. 5 2007
By A. Bingham - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It must be pretty good, my wife liked it so much she got a couple more for friends.
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but a bit self-obsessed June 4 2014
By bookworm - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the book, but as a fellow inhabitant of Finistere, would've liked MORE of the region, and LESS of the author. I understand the author's reluctance to turn the book into a mere travelogue, but whilst I found her background interesting, the book didn't conjure up for me the sense of place that would do this beautiful region of Brittany justice.
3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Price of Water in Finistere March 21 2007
By Ardith E. Butler - Published on
A most delightful book. Arrived in good condition and in a timely fashion. Thanks.
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