Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dreaming of France -- Ἁ Bientôt

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.

I'm always in the market for a book set in France, and I especially take advantage when they are marked down to 99 cents. That's how I picked up Ἁ bientôt by Patricia Dixon.
The story is set in Portsmouth, England, which is where it begins as the main character's husband dies. But the matter is complicated because the widow had found out her husband had been cheating on her and planned to confront him the day that he died. With her two oldest children pursing their careers, her daughter off to university, and no one else in her big house, she goes on a vacation to France and makes close friends of the people who run the bed and breakfast. She also meets a handsome man who enjoys vacation in France too. Before she can put her life back together though, she has to learn what she can about her husband's affair.
I enjoyed the story and the characters in this book. The main character Anna falls in love with France as much as I have, but she is lucky that she can zip over there fairly often.
 ...there was ample opportunity to take in her surroundings and soak up the scenery unfolding around her, passing through small villages with their boulangeries, patisseries, cafés and imposing churches, everywhere seemed so peaceful. Winding down the windows so the breeze cooled her flushed cheeks, Anna breathed in the country air, the early afternoon was warm and the honey gold sun glowed in a pale blue sky patched with white clouds, her heart felt giddy with the realisation of her achievement.
"Look at me," she thought, "I'm here in France, all by myself, I did it, I actually did it." 
As you can probably tell from the excerpt, the book needed more proofreading to be a great read. I gave it three stars for the story and would have given it four if not for the mistakes in it.
The punctuation mistakes were mostly with apostrophes and run-on sentences. I can easily overlook these since I am used to reading student papers. The rest of the writing was well done.
But I must ask my British friends about some strange wording that I saw in this book. Maybe it is common in the UK to say someone "was sat" or "was stood" in places that American English would have said someone sat or someone stood. Please solve that mystery for me.
The book ended with all loose ends tied up, but may have gone on a bit too long. It definitely gives the reader his/her money's worth.
What are you dreaming about today?
Thanks for playing along.


Louise said...

Perhaps it's just as well that I'm not a proofreader because I didn't notice the proofreading errors... It sounds like a nice read.

Jacqui Brown said...

I haven't read this book yet, but I think I have it waiting. I will let you know about the was sat phrases when I read it, but we would say 'Jacqui was sat waiting for Ed to arrive at the bar' in English English!

I've linked in the first day of our French road trip.

Paulita said...

Louise, I miss a lot of proofreading kinds of things too. This was just a lot so it stuck out.
Jacqui, That is how it was used. Funny cause we would say Jacqui sat waiting for Ed to arrive.

Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

Lol, a book for $.99 …you can't beat that…. but how is it that women seem to always meet a handsome man on these sorts of adventures….I'm not sure that is very realistic.

Paulita said...

Sally, Most of the time we don't want realistic in our novels. At least not when it comes to whether a handsome man would pop into our lives when we needed one.

Vicki Lesage said...

When I first started reading British books (mostly chick-lit) there was so much I didn't understand! Or like when Ron Weasely asked Harry Potter was he was "on about". What? Two prepositions together? I've picked up a lot over the years but I've still never heard of "was sat" or "was stood" so I'm interested to hear from a Brit if that's correct or not!

Leovi said...

Yes, a very interesting book!

Sim Carter said...

Sounds like a nice read; but the 'was sat' question and Jacqui's answer was so interesting to me. I haven't lived in England since I was a child, and my parents are both gone so I'm hardly an expert but I've not heard of usage of ' was sat by the door' etc. It doesn't have the same ring of slang that was mentioned with Harry Potter being 'on about' something,' it's grammar and it sounds wrong. Perhaps it's a colloquial usage from a certain part of the country?

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