Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Vantastic France by Steve Bichard


When living abroad you do tend to find yourself flung into the local expat community, but just because we have come from the same place and arrived in the same place there is no standard ‘one size fits all’ expat, and you will find yourself mixing with people who back in the UK your paths would never have crossed.  You soon learn who is likely to enrich your life and who to politely avoid – sometimes your choices surprise you!  Also, daily life as an expat is not the same as being on holiday and there can be just as many downs as ups.  

In Vantastic France Steve Bichard has done a really good job of describing the highs and lows of a new family settling into rural Brittany and finding their place amongst their French neighbours and the expats already there.  It is a fun, easy read that in many places had me laughing and nodding in agreement.  I’m sure many other expats reading it will find themselves thinking ‘oh yes, I’ve met a Clarissa or a Barry before’.  I certainly had a great affinity with Linda and her vegetable growing.  This is Steve’s first novel and I thought it moved along very well and the ending has been left in a great place for a follow up, as I’m sure Steve has plenty more stories for the loveable rogue Barry and his long suffering wife Linda.  My only small criticism would be that at times some things are a little over explained, which I found a bit unnecessary.

Vantastic France is available in ebook or paperback from Amazon.