A Gift from Brittany: A Memoir of Love and Loss in the French Countryside

Marjorie Price, Author
Marjorie Price, Author . Gotham $24 (250p) ISBN 978-1-592-40350-9
Reviewed on: 12/24/2007
Release date: 05/01/2008

Price, an artist living in 1960s New York City in her 20s, traveled to France in search of an outlet for her artistic creativity. Enthralled by Paris's wrought-iron balconies and the urban landscape that inspired the Impressionists, Price was soon in a fervid romance with Yves, a Frenchman and artist, whom she married. Not long after the birth of their daughter, Danielle, Yves—against Price's protests—bought half a hamlet in a bucolic corner of Brittany, and Price was left with the arduous task of rehabilitating their seven broken-down farmhouses. As her once-quixotic marriage languished with Yves's increasing volatility and unreasonable demands that she stop painting, Price forms an unlikely friendship with her neighbor Jeanne, a villager in her late 60s who becomes her mentor—teaching her, above all else, self-sufficiency—while Price introduces her new companion to the art world and city life. In this sweet, simple memoir, Price redefines her idea of strength and resilience and commemorates a once-in-a-lifetime friendship. (Apr.)

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