The author Peter Mayle, champion of all things Provence, here in a final volume of all new writing, offers ... recollections from his twenty-five years in the South of France, lessons learned, culinary delights enjoyed, and changes observed
Many a reader has reveled in Peter Mayle’s musings on the expat life in southern France since A Year in Provence arrived in 1989. It’s only fitting that he give us one more taste in My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and NowRead Full Review >>
'It started', Peter Mayle begins, 'with a break in the weather.' After two weeks of a rainy Mediterranean vacation, Mayle and his wife, Jennie, set out to look for sun and explore Provence on their way home to England. They quickly fell in love with the beautiful region of southeastern France ... In this final memoir, Mayle returns to the beginning, recounting the couple’s early days house-hunting, learning the language and falling in love with the culture ... 'Lunch is taken very seriously in Provence,' Mayle discovered early on. So it’s fitting that as he makes his way home from the village market, basket piled high with warm bread, fragrant cheese, cherries, grapes and fresh eggs, Mayle’s last words to us are, 'I must go. Lunch is calling.'
My Twenty-Five Years is, itself, a retrospective, beginning with the author looking back to the nervous thrill he and Jennie experienced with their decision to move to France ... Mayle’s writings, not only inspired people to explore the French countryside, they encouraged travelers to explore the world differently. When Mayle took the plunge, he noted that the vast majority of Brits abroad drove around with a car full of biscuits, marmalade and teas — all the comforts of home, so they would never have to be inconvenienced by having to eat the local fare. By contrast, the Mayles left it all behind, fully immersing themselves in the food, drink, language and culture of their adopted home. They would not be ex-pats with a picturesque hillside home secretly stuffed with packages from Marks and Sparks. When friends from England visited and offered to bring down British staples, even single malt scotch, the Mayles politely declined. They had grown to prefer French pastis.