Sunday, June 5, 2016

A Year in Provence

Maybe I'm a little more cynical than when I was in my early 20s.  I'm not sure I still believe that A Year in Provence is an accurate portrayal of Peter Mayle's first year in France.  It's too neat, with contractors showing up at the most entertaining times and uninvited guests always showing up at the least appropriate time.  Now I suspect that most of this happened, but Mayle's literary skills embellished and rearranged the actual events.

I don't care.  A Year in Provence is as enjoyable as it was when I first read it.  It's a bridge between his travel writing (I actually read Tojours Provence first) and his fiction, lightly tying together the oddities and fantastic meals that come with being an Englishman in southern France without having to worry too much about the plot.  Mayle's charm (and talent for describing mouthwatering meals) transport the reader to his (perhaps too quaint) village on the edge of the Luberon and made me, at least, reconsider a goal.  I've always wanted to eat my way around Italy, but after one of Mayle's books, I usually reconsider altering my gastronomic tour to France.

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