Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dreaming of France -- The French House

Please join this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.
This week, I read on my Kindle a book set in France called The French House by Nick Alexander. I really enjoyed this book and just flew through it.
The book begins predictably with Victor, a Frenchman, mostly raised in England, inheriting a house in the mountains along the south of France about an hour from Nice airport. Victor was a gynecologist who decides to give up his practice to raise goats in France. His Irish girlfriend, CC, who lives in London, flies to join him and is surprised to learn that the house is a ruin.
The farmhouse is a large single-storey [sic] building of the same grey stone from which all the drystone walls around the property are made. It is set into a  niche carved from the hill behind. The building has only two tiny windows on the visible side and a gaping hole in the roof. To the right and left of the main house are two outbuildings, each about two-thirds the size of the main house, neither of which has any roof whatsover.
The sun is dipping behind the mountains now, the whole ensemble sliding into grey and, to be perfectly honest, I'm struggling to see the potential. The overriding ambience is cold, derelict and rather sinister. 
CC and Victor are in love and decide that CC will quit her job in London to move to France, and they start trying to have a baby since they are both in their 30s.
So, the book could be fairly predictable, trying to get work done on a ruin of a house in France, but the story is bolstered by Victor's next door neighbor, his aunt who he hadn't seen since he was 11. CC is convinced that the aunt is a witch trying to kill her. She suffers through food poisoning and swine flu along with other strange occurrences that include tarot cards.
 Even though I liked the book, I would probably give it three out of five stars because of loose ends that weren't tied up, and the main character doesn't seem to be true to himself. He kind of changes in the middle then moves back to the person he was in the beginning.
Also, this book doesn't really give you a chance to fall in love with France because they are living so rough. You don't get enough of those moments that people dream about when they imagine moving to France.
The ending was emotionally satisfying, but, too many things that happened in the book were not answered by the end.


Jackie McGuinness said...

Based on your review I will give this a miss.

Sim Carter said...

Thank God! A book I won't have to worry about making time to read.

Louise said...

I'm always interested in reading any book set in France, but I don't always get to reading them. This one sounds interesting, I've often dreamed of moving to France and mucking about with goats.

Joy said...

France and goats and old house -- elements to get me dreaming of France right now.

Joy's Book Blog

Leovi said...

Alright! Interesting book, really a nice house!

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I would give this book a go , sounds interesting :-)

Adria said...

What a great idea/event for all of us who love France... Merci!

Cockadoodle Doo or Cocorico?

 We stood in the middle of the road, having walked together 13 miles that day and Claudine grasped my forearm. "Mais non! It doesn'...