It's the forth day of Christmas and my review today is for My Grape Village: Uncorking la belle vie in France with my family the second memoir about life and renovations in Burgundy by Laura Bradbury. You can read my review of her first book My Grape Escape here. Although I would recommend starting with book one, it isn’t essential.
Laura and French husband Franck are back in Burgundy to work on another semi-derelict rental project with a tight deadline, however, this time they have the added complication of two daughters under five to settle into a new life and school in France. I really enjoyed Laura’s writing style in her first memoir as she writes in a very readable and honest way and is not afraid of telling the bad along with the good. Her openness shows us a slice of real Burgundian life and I’m pleased to say her second book did not disappoint. It was lovely to be back with them and sharing in their new plans, the excitement, the stress, the worry and the celebrations, of which there were a few.
We are not all able to marry into a French family like Laura, but she gracefully shares the French way and traditions of her French family. These often involve large family gatherings where good food and local Burgundian wine play as important a part as the people. I did wonder, with all the social niceties to be observed, how there would ever be time for renovations, but I’d quite like to have been at their kitchen table for aperos too. There are many differences between the life in Canada the girls were used to and their new life in France, but the children adapted really well, although I could sympathise with the worries Laura was experiencing. She also often made me laugh when she was describing the challenges she faced, like learning to drive a geared (stick shift) car in the narrow streets of Beaune and finding a proper sized tree for their first family Christmas in France.
Both of Laura’s books are available in paperback and ebook format and links to Amazon are below.
If you would like to experience their Burgundain life firsthand, or see the finished product of all their hard work, you can check out their rental site here. I know Laura is working on her next memoir and I can’t wait.