My 25 Years in Provence
By Peter Mayle
(208 pages, travel biography, 2018)
I’m doing a little armchair traveling these days. Peter Mayle is the author of the books A Year in Provence, Toujours Provence, Encore Provence and more.
Twenty-five years ago Peter and his wife Jennie decided to move from England to a small village in Provence. Peter writes about all manner of things Provence: the beauty of the landscape with its fields of flowers and lavender, the unusual villagers, the local customs and festivals. He writes of luscious-sounding meals and farmer’s markets filled with just-picked local produce, the seasons, the wildlife, truffle hunting, tourists, and beginning to learn French. And each is described in Mayle’s humorous and charming way. He and Jennie are old friends of film director Ridley Scott. Ridley is the director of the Alien movies, Gladiator, Blade Runner and The Martian.
Years ago Peter wrote a movie script about a young English businessman who inherits a vineyard in Provence. But there are others who claim that they are the rightful heirs. Peter was surprised when Ridley asked him about it, as Ridley usually directs big blockbuster movies. But it turns out that Ridley wanted to spend more time in his home in Provence, and so Peter’s script turned into the film A Good Year. It’s a charming romantic comedy with a lovely setting in Provence, and the scenery is a huge part of its appeal. My Twenty-five Years in Provence gives you a chance to live the dream of buying a house in France and becoming one of the fortunate locals.
I read this book on my phone using the Libby app. It makes me imagine what it would be like to drive past fields of lavender and find a little café in Provence. Maybe I’d sit outside with a glass of the local red and people watch. But right now I will make do with the lilacs blooming outside my front door, a sunny day, and a glass of ice tea.
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