Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Book Review: Picnic in Provence

Last night, I finished the Kindle edition of Picnic in Provence: A Memoir with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard, the woman who wrote Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes. This second book is fantastic and I recommend it.


Elizabeth and Gwendal spontaneously decide to move into an old house located in a small village after traveling in Provence. The author is pregnant during the trip and the story follows the small family of three through the opening of a family business, an ice cream shop specializing in flavors of the local market produce. The seasonal produce is revered, as it should be. Each chapter ends with several recipes.

I want to move to a city badly, so reading about country life wasn't my absolute favorite, but the writing is so good and I truly identify with the author. She provides an honest account of life, her personal trials and errors, highlighting her perspective of her family life. I find in the author a kindred spirit because we have some major things in common. One, she truly struggles with something I have yet to discuss on the blog. Two, she feels that her 30s are her natural age. She writes, "I'm an old soul. ... Everyone has a natural age, and there's something about my thirties that just fits. When I hit thirty-one, I somehow felt right in my skin. My mental age and my actual age finally merged, like overlapping film negatives synchronized for a perfect Technicolor image." This articulates how I feel as I have always wanted to be "grown up" as well. Halfway through age 30, I became a woman comfortable in her skin myself.

This is solidly good travel writing/memoir, so if you enjoy that genre, definitely put this on your summer reading list.



4 comments:

  1. I'm reading her first memoir that I've been having forever! And can't wait to dig in this as I love country life (and I live in the city). Cheers!

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    1. I always kept a couple of scenes from her first book in my mind including when he made her pasta from the contents of his fridge on their first date. They stayed with me, so I hope you enjoy both books. I saw that you were taking a brief social media break, enjoy that as well.

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  2. On my Kindle! Glad to know you weren't on the train in Philly!

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    1. I was not. I usually take the train when headed to Philly, specifically that line from DC to New York or Boston. I don't know anyone who was either, but my thoughts and prayers go out to the ones that were as well as their friends and families regardless. I'm sure that there are other Maryland connections, but a midshipman from the Naval Academy in Annapolis was aboard and died. The letter that his fellow football teammates wrote to his mother melted my heart and brought tears to my eyes.

      I hope my blog inspires others to seize life, to live to the fullest, to cultivate simple pleasures like reading good books. Life is short.

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