My Twenty-Five Years in Provence: Reflections on Then and Now

Peter Mayle. Knopf, $25 (192p) ISBN 978-0-451-49452-8
Fans of Mayle (who died in January) will be delighted by this final book from Provence’s most impassioned booster. The memoir takes the form of delightfully quaint anecdotes from the years since Mayle and his wife, Jennie, escaped office life in New York and London in the 1980s for “a simpler, sunnier life” in Provence. The chapters alternate between self-deprecating accounts of settling into the rhythms of café life (“the world seems to have gone pink,” he says, referring to the preponderance of rosé wines) and side notes on their favorite lunch spots (Chateau d’If, where the count of Monte Cristo was imprisoned). Mayle happily plays the transplanted Englishman, bemused by the habits of the curiously emphatic Continentals (“the nose plays a versatile part in French sign language”). He departs from cozy travelogue material for several unique experiences, such as being awarded the Legion d’Honneur or watching Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe make a movie out of one of his books. Composed in a uniformly bright and jocular voice, this is a breezy valedictory note for a much admired writer. Photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2018
Release date: 06/26/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-1-101-97428-5
Hardcover - 978-4-309-20788-9
Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-0-525-60995-7
Book - 978-0-451-49453-5
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-525-61028-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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