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Randal

Randal

Different than the norm!

(Not Quite) Mastering the Art of French Living - Mark Greenside

Greenside presents a familiar tale of visiting France, falling in love with it, and purchasing a home there. You know the type, the American who buys a 100+ year old house, and then shortly thereafter writes a book about his experiences. The difference in this book is that he has continued spending his summers there for around twenty five years. The book draws on much deeper details than one of someone who has only been there a year or two.
Greenside has spent enough time there that you think he should practically be a native, but, as he very capably describes, that hasn't happened. He admits the terrible time he has with the French language. The adventures in driving. The surprises he finds when needing medical attention, or dealing with banking. And the best part of all, the food. It seems the author is willing to eat anything! His descriptions make the book worth it by themselves.
Through the years, he has found a core group of friends in France who are willing to help the American. With their help, he survives, maybe even thrives. He is unflinching in his descriptions of his mistakes, as well as the successes.
In what I think makes a book a sucess, is the fact that I really think the author is someone who I could be friends with, who I can relate to, and who I would enjoy exploring with. To me, that is what I really want in a book.