Monday, January 20, 2014

Book review of My Grape Escape by Laura Bradbury


french village diaries my grape escape burgundy France Laura Bradbury
My Grape Escape 
My review today is for Laura Bradbury’s My Grape Escape a book with a beautiful cover that really invites you in to experience a slice of Burgundian life.

French Franck and Canadian Laura were newlywed’s on a short break with Franck’s family in the village he grew up in when life threw them an opportunity that they embraced with gusto. This book tells the first part of the story of their life and renovations in Burgundy, France.

Laura is a planner and had meticulously planned her life out, worked hard for a law degree at Oxford and was preparing to continue studying for her MA. Franck is her support, having followed her from France to Oxford and Canada, he was happy if she was happy. However, the plans she had set for herself were making her very stressed and she had forgotten what happiness felt like. They needed an escape plan, somewhere to put down roots, a project they could invest in and hopefully make money from in the future. When they find a dream property close to Franck’s family giving them the perfect investment project and a potential rental business, what could possibly go wrong?

Laura writes a very readable, honest account of their renovation project with great character descriptions of their friends and family members, little snippets of Burgundian life including impromptu aperos, celebrations and delicious descriptions of the local food. I also loved the chemistry between Laura and Franck, she could be anxious, panicky and full of worry, but he was calm, strong and always had great faith in the Virgin Mary who watches over his family and now their new house. Despite being local to the area they still had major issues with unscrupulous people they met along the way and administrative cock-ups that were seriously off the scale. Laura’s writing was open and really made me feel included in what was going on, so much so I felt myself crossing my fingers whilst reading in the hope it would help them meet the deadlines they set themselves.

Thank you Laura for sending me a copy of your book, I am really looking forward to reading the next instalment and maybe one day we can meet for an espresso and square of dark chocolate as it's my daily moment of indulgence too!

Reading this book (available in paperback and ebook format) will virtually take you to the vineyards in eastern France, but should you wish a real escape to Burgundy to enjoy a slice of Laura and Franck’s life you can find out more about their rental properties here. I’m packing my bags; it has been too many years since I visited that area of France.