This novel-cum-memoire by Peter Mayle was published in 1989. The author was named "Travel Writer of the Year" at the British Book Awards of that year.

A Year in Provence is an account of the first year Mayle and his wife spent in their old farmhouse in rural France. We read how the couple found, bought, and renovated their dream home situated in the Luberon mountains between Avignon and Aix.

The novel makes attempts at humour, but largely fails, despite the easy subject-matter (French builders, English guests, learning the language etc). For many, A Year in Provence presented, at the time of its publication, some kind of dream existence. The English ideal of the 1990s - getting away from it all - has been fuelled by this account of life in France.

There was also a mini-seies based on the book (broadcast on ITV?). John Thaw (Inspector Morse) played the Peter Mayle character well, considering what poor material he had to work with.

"A year in Provence" is a 1989 memoir/travelogue written by Peter Mayle. It details how he moves into a house in Provence, and what happens in his first year there. The book is divided into 12 chapters, each telling the story of a different month.

The book is lightly comic, based on broad humor about such topics as the difficulty of remodeling their house, the French love of food, and the eccentricities of local residents. The book is told in a novelistic style, and I imagine their was some embellishment in scenes of specific dialog, even though the book is a work of non-fiction.

I am of two minds of this book. I found it very easy reading, full of charming and fun stories, and the characters and situations were very easy to relate to. On the other hand, the central theme of the book is that the French really like eating. The book does seem to overly depend on a few broad stereotypes, and if France wasn't a first world country, the portrayal of the locals might be seen as offensively condescending. I perhaps read this book under a unique circumstance: I had just finished reading For Whom the Bell Tolls, which had a much less happy portrayal of rural life in the Mediterranean region. "A Year in Provence" manages to skip over mention of World War II, or any of France's other conflicts, internal or external. We are instead presented with a world where life consists of a series of wine-drenched meals of fresh food on restaurant patios. This doesn't make it a bad book: stories are allowed to be pleasant. But I will say, that while this book is entertaining, it also seems to present an incomplete picture of French life.

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