Book Review: A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle is a true story of the author’s move to Provence, France.

The Author:

Surprisingly, Peter Mayle is the author of several books on sex education for teenagers and on the subject of sex itself.  Having a desire to write a novel, he moved to southern France for inspiration. Once there, he realized that Luberon, a small village in France, had enough true life experiences that there was no need to write a fictional novel. The books did so well that even a tv show was created based on the books.

The Book Itself:

When we think of France our minds automatically think of Paris. However, there is so much more to the French culture than Paris. Peter Mayle gives us a personal glimpse into the country life of the French. He shares his experiences with us to help us understand what it is like to live in a small village.

We see the humorous side of learning the local customs, dealing with the villagers, and how Peter’s friends who use his new village home as a free B&B. Peter describes life for himself and his wife through each season. They deal with the incredible cold winters, the warm growing season of Spring, the hot Summers, and the Fall when all the villagers turn into expert hunters.

Food is also a central theme in this book. The French cuisine is so much more than snails. The description of the hearty meals of the villagers will make you hungry to try them. The thrill of searching for the perfect truffle and the fear of picking the wrong type of mushroom makes for a down to earth book.

What I Liked:

I learned more about the French culture than I ever had. It was nice to look at the French beyond those that live in Paris. The description of the local food there sounds amazing. I also learned a lot about growing grapes in that region. I have no desire to read any of his books on sex, but I am enjoying his series on Provence.

What I Didn’t Like:

There wasn’t much I didn’t like. Maybe one or two of the stories were a little boring.

Would I Recommend Purchasing This Book:

Yes! A fun read and a nice way to explore a different culture.


Kristy Risner


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