Asian Writers

June is dedicated to authors with ASIAN ORIGIN....review of books in this category will be posted all month....

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Year in Provence

Its about reading a life that you have always dreamt about - minus the hiccups and hurdles.

I picked this book up using the same logic that has been driving all my selections this year -
a) Does it help me finish my A-Z challenge? and
b) if it is yes for (a) then does it fit in my budget and
c) Does the book get good reviews

A Year in Provence has a check against all the above. I got at a discounted deal from HomeShop18, the book got good reviews and as it started with "Y" a letter that I had not yet read, I picked it up without second thoughts.

As St. Augustine says " ”The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” and since at this point the chances of my travelling to France are slim (not that I won't love to go there...) the next best thing to do is to read about it.

In this entertaining, light-hearted travelogue that was written apparently accidentally, the author (Peter Mayle) recounts his first year in Provence, a small, friendly gastronomically charged village. With his wife and two dogs, he starts by settling into a 200 year old farmhouse and thus begins his eye-opening journey.


The book gives a sneak peak into the culture of Provence (already a tourist hot-bed in the 80s) - the various exotic cullinary dishes, the weird activities like goat-racing and the eccentric neighbours, the procrastinating labourers, the vineyards, the cherry picking. A lot of it is packed in 200-odd pages and it sucks you in, a pretty picture, that made me laugh at the wry and witty humor, the jabs at the French way of working (which I found so similar to the Indian beaurocracy). The book completely engrossed me and I was always eager to get back to it at the end of my working day.

The book is divided into twelve chapters, each chapter dedicated to a month in the year, tracking their progress in their new habitat. The Nov-Dec chapters i.e. the concluding chapters of the book felt sort of sentimentally forced. I haven't read much travel writing, and I don't think a serious potrayal of a country or place would be my cup of tea. A light-hearted and fun filled travel account, is what I look for. And this one fit the bill perfectly.

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