cover image Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France

Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France

Karen Wheeler. Sourcebooks, $14.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-4022-6118-3

In this buoyant read, Wheeler describes how she led a glamorous but empty life of "blissful complacency" as a London magazine editor, filled with beautiful parties, countless shoes and dresses, and plans to marry a Frenchman. A year later, at 35, she's without a fianc%C3%A9 or a job and has bought a fixer-upper with no heat or hot water in a remote French village%E2%80%94"a long way from anyone's idea of the charming French house." To recover from the lingering devastation of the breakup, Wheeler decides she needs to begin anew. A pampered city girl, the plucky author adapts surprisingly well to the rural lifestyle. In the absence of a supermarket or decent restaurants for miles, she lives on bread and cheese for months until she has a functioning kitchen, and becomes adept at home cooking, varnishing floors, building a fire, negotiating with countless French workmen, and even beheading a turkey for Christmas dinner. Wheeler offers a charming chronicle of transforming her unloved and neglected maison into a real home and repairing her broken heart in the process. (Aug.)