by Abigail Fisher
If midterm season has you needing a vacation, the cheapest escape I can suggest is A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle. Detailing Mayle’s real life move to Lubéron, France, this travel journal whisks the reader far away to the charming countryside of Provence. You will never want to leave. Every aspect of Mayle’s story made my obsession with France grow to new heights. He spent a great deal of the book writing about the amazing meals he and his wife made and ate at restaurants. Do not read this book on an empty stomach, it might kill you. Everything from the descriptions of the freshly baked bread to the hearty poultry dishes made my mouth water uncontrollably.
Interspersed between meals, there is an actual plot, I swear! Mayle’s house renovations made for a comical account of french contractors and the excruciatingly slow process of getting them to actually work. Mayle also wrote vignettes on many of the other town characters that gave a very human feel to this almost fantastical landscape. If you like A Year in Provence, read the sequel Toujours Provence or the many other books by Peter Mayle to get you the French state of mind.
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