French by Heart: An American Family's Adventures in La Belle France

Rebecca S. Ramsey, Author . Broadway $12.95 (308p) ISBN 978-0-7679-2522-8

First-time author Ramsey adopts a sweet but never cloying tone to tell the charming story of her family's four-year stint in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Ramsey, a young mother of three whose husband's company relocates them to France, recounts what it feels like to sell the family home in South Carolina, say good-bye to everyone you know and move overseas. Rather than tell the story chronologically, Ramsey links the narrative to everyday events recalling the pitfalls and petite triumphs inherent in each encounter. Moreover, because the family's command of French is minimal, routine tasks often become embarrassing lessons. Ultimately, Ramsey and her family embrace their adopted country's language and customs. Entering a bookstore, she finds herself surrounded by graceful young women in high heels, short skirts and stylish leather blazers, while she is "standing there in my big red field jacket and clunky black clogs… like a frumpy giant." Ramsey acknowledges telling "the whole truth, even when it makes me look ridiculous"—and this results in an endearing memoir. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 01/29/2007
Release date: 04/01/2007
Genre: Nonfiction
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 195 pages - 978-0-7679-2718-5
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