Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Transported to France via "French by Heart"

If I had to choose one word to sum up fellow blogger friend Rebecca Ramsey's memoir, "French by Heart: An American Family's Adventures in La Belle France", it would be ... delightful.

No, wait ... engaging.

And, hilarious.

But, really, truly just delightful.

And touching.

Oh ... and heartwarming.

But ... really, I'm sticking with delightful.

And, very charming.

And real.

And oh so delightful!

Maybe it's because I dream of someday living in Tuscany. I know, I know ... that's not in France, but it's a similar uprooting kind of experience so just go with me!

I lived in Europe once before, as a college student in Austria. But that was different. I took two suitcases; she took an entire house worth of furniture, cars, a cat, and three children!

I attended a college where all the classes were taught in English, save for the intensive German class; she had to send her three children off to a French-speaking grade school.

I lived in a flat with other American students and not once did I lay eyes on our fellow building neighbors; she lived in a house in the middle of a French neighborhood with very curious neighbors!

Reading Rebecca's account of their four years in France was a thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining experience. It was the last thing I read at night before drifting off to sleep. It was like being transported to life in France each night, after a crazy day.

It became my nightly respite. When it ended, I was not pleased. My nightly trip to la belle France was gone. Where was I to go now?!

How about Tuscany via "Under the Tuscan Sun" ... after all, that IS my goal destination!

Thank you, Rebecca, for kick-starting my summer reading travels with your refreshing and witty account of family life in France!


Tess said...

I love a good book recommendation - thanks :D

Tess said...

oh, and thanks for visiting my blog. Always fun to meet new blogging/writer friends :D

Kelly H-Y said...

You bet, Tess!!! Thanks so much for stopping by, too! I loved your blog!

Serenity said...

I heartily agree with every adjective here. I'm hoping for a new book from Rebecca someday!

lisa and laura said...

This book looks fantastic! I studied in Luxembourg for a 6 months in college and I'm dying to go back to Europe. This book will totally give me my euro fix.

Beth Kephart said...

Now this is sweet.

Danyelle L. said...

Sounds like a great book. :) That would be terrifying uprooting and moving--especially with children. :S

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Kelly, you are a sweetheart! I'm thrilled that you enjoyed it!
This post absolutely made my day!

Sherrie Petersen said...

Sounds like a ... um, delightful, book! I'll have to check it out!

lotusgirl said...

Totally agree! I LOVED this book. Becky is so genuine in her telling. I felt like I really knew her after I read it (to a certain degree) and the stories are full of authenticity.

Carrie Harris said...

This does sound lovely. And your whole "choose one word" thing gave me a much-needed giggle this morning. Thanks!

Cathy C. Hall said...

Definitely putting this on my "Find this Book and Read it" List...I'm a sucker for stories of Americans abroad. I studied in Italy for a summer and the experience changed my life. It took about thirty years, but still...

Pen Pen said...

I'm gonna have to go get this!! I LOVE France(my family is from there-tho I've never been personally :(
Merci Beaucoup!!
I was lucky to go on a 2 week tour of Italy WAY back in the day- You MUST visit Capri when you're there! I still feel like crying when I think of it...I remember we got there at night and I could hear-but not see-the ocean. I woke up, and looked out the window at the water--It was breathtaking.
I love ur blog! Ur personality seems to comes across well:)I like it!

Adrienne said...

I loved this book!

Kelly H-Y said...

Serenity! Me too!! :-)

Lisa and Laura - Luxembourg ... how wonderful! Yes ... this will give you a nice 'fix' for the time being, until you can return! :-)

Beth - Thank you!

Danyelle! I know ... can you imagine what that would involve?!

Rebecca! I'm so glad ... I thoroughly enjoyed it! :-)

Sherrie - You said it! :-)

Lois - Genuine and authentic ... perfect descriptors!!! :-)

Carrie - I'm so glad it gave you a giggle! That's what I was hoping for!

Cathy - Me too! Oooh, you got to study in Italy ... sounds wonderful!!! This will take you back!

Pen Pen! Welcome ... so wonderful to meet you! And, thank you for your kind comments! Capri sounds wonderful ... I'll definitely have to do that.

Adrienne - Yay! Me too!

Sarah Laurence said...

Great review! It's fun to hear about other expat books. I've lived about 3 years in England scattered over 20 years and went on a French exchange in high school. It's fabulous to have those experiences, but the next best thing is reading about it. I enjoyed A Year in Provence too.

Kelly H-Y said...

Sarah! Very cool! Thanks for the 'Year in Provence' recommendation ... I'll have to pick that one up!

Anonymous said...

Kelly I loved reading this! The book sounds really fun and a perfect read. Like a nightly vacation.

I really do wish I had more time to read. I am so lame though about reading. The time I do have I read about art. . .and that really isn't a vacation now is it.

I have started to read a bit before I go to bed, but I was told when you do that the brain learns that after reading for 15 minutes you go to sleep. . .and I surely don't want that.

Reading is such a wonderful experience. . .so many place to go and so much to learn

Lenore Appelhans said...

Big fan of travel writing. I live in Germany, and though I came over with 2 suitcases, if I ever went back to the US, I'd be bringing back a husband, 2 cats, and 120 square meters full of stuff (mostly books - no kidding).