Monday, July 23, 2012

Book Review: A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

Title: A Year In Provence
Author: Peter Mayle
Publisher: Vintage
Release Date: 1989
Rating: 3/5

Cover Impressions:
I really enjoy the mish-mash of elements in this cover. 

The Gist:
Peter Mayle and his wife have visited Provence several times and fallen in love with the picturesque countryside and the relaxed style of life.  They have decided to take the jump and buy a property there.  Peter chronicles their first year in their new home.

This was a book club pick and not something I would normally have chosen for myself.  The writing was enjoyable enough but I suffered along with the lack of a plot.  Instead of a tale with a beginning, middle and end - I was presented with a large collection of anecdotes.  While these were, in themselves, enjoyable, they did not lend to engrossment in the novel or inspire me to pick it up again after a few hours of distraction elsewhere. 

This book felt like a lazy summer day, pleasant, but lacking anything of substance.  As such, I am having difficulty finding things to write about.  There was nothing inherently BAD about the book, but there was nothing particularly impressive either.  One issue that I did encounter was the descriptions of food.  At the beginning, these were interesting and charming but, as time wore on, they became tedious.  By the end of the book, I felt that I had sat with Peter and his wife at every meal for an entire year! 

All in all, A Year in Provence is a light, easy read perfectly suited to an easy going vacation or simply a trip to the beach.  However, if you are looking for something with a little more substance, it would be best to move on to something else on the shelf. 

*There is nothing in this book to discourage teenage readers, but I do not believe the style would appeal to the average teen.


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