A Year in Provence by Peter MayleA Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

A Year in Provence

byPeter Mayle

Hardcover | April 28, 1990

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They had been there often as tourists. They had cherished the dream of someday living all year under the Provencal sun. And suddenly it happened.

Here is the month-by-month account of the charms and frustrations that Peter Mayle and his wife -- and their two large dogs -- experience their first year in the remote country of the Luberon restoring a two-centuries-old stone farmhouse that they bought on sight. From coping in January with the first mistral, which comes howling down from the Rhone Valley and wreaks havoc with the pipes, to dealing as the months go by with the disarming promises and procrastination of the local masons and plumbers, Peter Mayle delights us with his strategies for survival. He relishes the growing camaraderie with his country neighbors -- despite the rich, soupy, often impenetrable patois that threatens to separate them. He makes friends with boar hunters and truffle hunters, a man who eats foxes, and another who bites dentists; he discovers the secrets of handicapping racing goats and of disarming vipers. And he comes to dread the onslaught of tourists who disrupt his tranquillity.

In this often hilarious, seductive book Peter Mayle manages to transport us info all the earthy pleasures of Provencal life and lets us live vicariously in a tempo governed by seasons, not by days. George Lang, who was smitten, suggests: "Get a glass of marc, lean back in your most comfortable chair, and spend a delicious year in Provence."
Peter Mayle spent fifteen years in the advertising business, first as a copywriter and then as a reluctant executive, before escaping Madison Avenue in 1975 to write books. His work has been translated into seventeen languages, and he has contributed to the London Sunday Times, the Financial Times, and the Independent, as well as Gentl...
Title:A Year in ProvenceFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 8.45 × 5.9 × 0.85 inPublished:April 28, 1990Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0394572300

ISBN - 13:9780394572307

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Read Having travelled to Provence Peter Mayle does a great job of taking me back there again. There was a lot of laugh out moments especially when talking about French rituals and culture. I definitely recommend reading this book if would like to take a trip to the Provence region.
Date published: 2018-02-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A lovely story! I've read this book many times and each time I feel like I am in Provence. Peter Mayle does an excellent job describing his surroundings in his writing. This book captures the easy, slow paced lifestyle of Provence beautifully. An excellent read that I highly recommend!
Date published: 2017-10-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not particularly action-packed, but boy did it make me hungry I picked up a copy of this book after reading a list of titles that would appeal to a "wander luster" or travel-fanatic. I haven't been to Provence but I can say after reading this book I definitely intend to. Other reviewers commented on it being a bit slow - I'd tend to agree with that. The concept of the book itself isn't exactly action-oriented, but it's a bit like life in Provence itself, which I think Peter captured beautifully. Do not read on an empty stomach - tales of dinner parties and tasty Provencal treats were too much for me to bear!
Date published: 2017-09-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from I would not recommend. I found this to be a boring tale of a married couple who moved from the United States looking for a beautiful farmhouse in Provence, France. They find the house of their dreams and the entire book is a month-by-month account of their daily lives. They spend most of their time renovation their new home, talking to the country folk and complaining about how long the renovations are taking to complete.*Yawn*
Date published: 2014-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delicious! Love this book! Like Camilleri, Mayle's writing inevitably leads one to eat good food and drink good wine.
Date published: 2014-05-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This book made me hungry! Told by month, the trails and tribulations of moving to a new country, learning a new language and enjoying the culture of good food and wine
Date published: 2014-04-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun and happy read.... Oh what fun and warm descriptions of Provence. Very enjoyable book!
Date published: 2013-09-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Good Armchair Jaunt I quite liked this book. It was recommended to me by a friend, who warned, "It'll make you ravenous!" Indeed. Mayle is as fond of the vino and cuisine as he is of the countryside, and exquisite descriptions abound. Might be a good thing to first stock up on a crusty baguette, quality olive oil, imported cheese, and a hearty red, unless you enjoy torturing yourself. Must confess I haven't yet been to the south of France (sigh), and so cannot report on the author's accuracy. But as far as armchair travel goes, this is a satisfying read. Most rewarding, I think, are the character sketches of the people he encounters: the testy, eccentric neighbour; the various workmen brought to the villa; his imposing British houseguests. Amusing, light-hearted stuff.
Date published: 2000-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Year in Provence I read this book during the hot, sunny days of July and I loved it. It helped to take me away to the laid back, relaxing, European charm of Provence. I could taste the olive oil soaked crusty bread and see the dark and sweaty but good-hearted neighbor that Mayle so deliciously and meticulously describes. I found the situations of the couple in the story farcical and light-hearted and I laughed at the husband's exceptional wit and ability to poke fun at himself. I thought this would make a great movie with Hugh Grant in the leading role, as he is so good in light-hearted comedies. Peter Mayle's descriptive narrative took me away to his beautiful villa and in my imagination I could appreciate the hardy generosity of his French community. It will definitely make you want to plan a trip there…by fantasy or reality. I would recommend reading this book with the goal to visit a beautiful place; relax, pick a hot sunny day deep in the summer and sip on a nice glass of red wine…you will love this trip.
Date published: 1999-05-31
Rated 1 out of 5 by from A Year in Provence Go to France by all means. Drink the wine and eat the cheese. Follow the bike races if that's your style, but do not read this book about Mayle's experience of the glorified south of France. He is a Brit whose trite renderings of French behaviour and morals are not only disrespectful, but insulting. His style is flippant, painfully debonair and not in the least funny. I can't believe they made a TV series from his completely self-indulgent journals.
Date published: 1999-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Year in Provence A great read! Written by British ex-pat Peter Mayle, it is a month-by-month account of the joys and trials of living in Provence. Mayle uses a refreshing choice of words and metaphors throughout. The characters are eccentric and the events hilarious. You too will want to buy a villa in France!
Date published: 1998-12-18

From Our Editors

A funny--and often hilarious--month-by-month account of the charms and frustrations of moving into an old French farmhouse in Provence and adapting to a very different way of life

Editorial Reviews

"I really loved this book. Having spent several seasons in the backcountry of Provence myself, I found myself laughing in recognition of the Provencal explanation, for example, of an unusually cold winter: it was simply that the cold had all slipped down from Russia because the land had flattened between there and Provence. Then the raucous rebuilding of their house, and their plumbing, and the middle-aged plumber himself, who plays the clarinet at home, and will party of an evening, whirling his wife around the dance floor until six in the morning. The wonderful local meals Mayle describes, with pates and hams and mammoth stews, and olives, and sausages, and slabs of country bread to wipe up the sauce while cleaning the plates for the next course. It takes the friendly eye and ear of a sympathetic foreigner to penetrate and then bring alive the unique and endearing culture that is Provence. This book will give you many a chuckle when you know the country, and will certainly prepare you to enjoy it if you don't."