Author: Patricia and Walter Wells
Publisher: Harper Perennial
ISBN: 978-0-06-089858-8

Click Here To Purchase We've Always Had Paris...and Provence: A Scrapbook of Our Life in France

How many of us have dreamed of chucking it all and moving to an exotic local?  Most of us have and I must admit, my dream was Paris.  Having gone there when I was twenty, I began a love affair with this wonderful city that continues to this day.  So, of course, when I heard about We’ve Always had Paris, I had to review it.

Patricia and Walter Wells understand the yearning of us Parisophiles.  They often talked about the chance of moving to Paris to live.  Both were writers for the Times and they dreamed of the day the call would come in offering a job at the Paris branch of the Times, the International Herald Tribune.  One day, the dream became reality and they packed up and moved.

Now they had to face the reality of living where they didn’t speak the language and were strangers in a world so different it was almost alien.  Add to that Walter’s 24 hour a day job and Patricia’s freelance and cookbook career and they were almost overwhelmed.  However, they find their way in the strange new world of both Paris and Provence and the book is filled with their memories, experiences, and meals.

I began this book with high hopes and found myself slightly disappointed.  The tale is very well written and chocked full of tales and recipes, but it lacks lustre.  The descriptions of Paris failed to evoke the wonderful sense of the city itself and felt as flat as the pages of the book.  When I read a book about a foreign country, I want to get lost in the place and the people and I was sad when these book almost but didn’t quite succeed.

The part about Provence also didn’t evoke the sense of place and time.  Having never been there, I had hoped for a tale filled with the magic of that unique part of the country. I was looking forward to seeing and experiencing in my mind a trip to this area and I didn’t find it.  The story was well told and filled with those unique experiences of French country living, but I failed to make that vital connection with both the place and the characters.

There can be no doubt that these two writers are very talented at writing factual information and they created technically sound book, but without the magic of the place shining through the book falters.

Click Here To Purchase We've Always Had Paris...and Provence: A Scrapbook of Our Life in France