My review today is for Follow My Heart: Risking it all for a life in France by Frances Lawson.
Frances feels she must follow her heart and against all the odds make a new life for herself in France. She doesn’t ask for much, just the chance to live and work in France, a modest house, a small garden to grow vegetables, an income to keep her solvent and if possible someone special to share it with. I can understand the feeling in her bones that France is the country of her soul. I now also understand how much more complicated this move is for a single woman from New Zealand, with a daughter almost ready to fly the nest and a very limited budget. It was never going to be an easy journey.
With such a gorgeous front cover I couldn’t wait to dive in, but in keeping with her journey, things were slow to start. Unfortunately not everything went to plan and in the first few chapters we meet Nicolas the Parisian, an internet find who she hoped would help ease her move to France. It was obvious from the tone of the writing that things were not going to work out between them and I certainly tired of him and his antics long before Frances did. However, her determination was her strength and she picked herself up and made another plan that this time put her in France as a student at a language school. Despite her hard work doors were slow to open and obstacles were placed in her way, but eventually France became her place of work and although she hasn’t quite ticked off everything on her list, what she has managed to do is quite an achievement.
This is not an uplifting book, but it does show true grit and resolve and highlights lots of issues that expats (especially those from non-EU countries) have to face when settling in France. Many in her shoes would have given up, but she is still here in France and I salute her.
Follow My Heart: Risking it all for a life in France is available in ebook and paperback and links to Amazon can be found below. If your ebook reader shows colour pictures you will enjoy the photos of France that Frances includes with each chapter. The paperback version contains black and white pictures. I was sent a copy of this book by the author.