Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book review of A Tour of the Heart by Maribeth Clemente


book review A Tour of the Heart French Village DiariesSometimes there are books you pick up that just seem to click, it could be writing style or subject matter or both. A Tour of the Heart: A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France was one of those books for me. Yes it is set in France and yes traveling and cycling are involved, but it is more than just a cycle tour of France book as it has the added emotions of a good chicklit in it too. The book is as much the journey of Maribeth's relationship with her new(ish) boyfriend as the journey they take through France, and I enjoyed the personal side of the story. Cycling with a mechanically minded man is never easy, and I know, but to undertake a trip like this relatively early in their relationship was quite a test. Maribeth you are not the only one to have had the gear-changing lecture as you are cycling along, or been left lagging far behind.

From the beginning I loved Maribeth’s style, the descriptions of the areas they visit and their meals transported me from the cold foggy winter into the delights of holidaying in France. Although I will admit to being insanely jealous of the doors that opened to her because of her status as journaliste americaine!

The book is set in two parts, the first part their journey through France the second their return to cover the 2001 Tour de France. Set at the height of Lance Armstrong’s fame, things have a different edge to them now, but she certainly portrays the hype and excitement of the time.

This is probably not the book for you if you are a bloke looking for a book on cycling in France, as like her companion Pete you may find there is not enough cycling, however if you want an inside snoop at what goes on in the mind of a woman read on – but be aware, be very aware! It certainly brought back memories of how with boyfriend number one I was constantly trying to analyse the relationship and work out how I could change or become a better fit, in order to make ‘us’ work. Something I had forgotten I’d done as maybe when you find the person who fits just right you don’t need to analyse any more – either that or it is just an age/length of time together thing.

Maribeth is a travel writer who has lived in France and obviously loves France so it is no surprise that the one thing that came across and stayed with me in this book is her descriptions of France, the places they visit and the food they taste. This book is available as an ebook from Amazon.