Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Book review of Friday in France by Judy Block

Welcome to day 15 of my #FrenchVillageBookworm advent calendar where I am sharing a book a day between now and Christmas.

French Village Diaries advent calendar book review Friday in France Judy Block
#FrenchVillageBookworm advent calendar day 15


My review today is for Friday in France: A humorous memoir about leaving it all behind. by Judy Block, a memoir about settling into the gentle sway of life on a small French island in the Atlantic. I sometimes worry when a book is titled ‘humorous’ by the author, but I have to agree in this case as parts of this book are hilarious.

Take one New York executive used to the fast paced life on Manhattan Island and take her across the Atlantic to the small island of Ile d’Oleron, just off the coast of La Rochelle (and somewhere I know very well). It is the early 1990’s and there is no internet, email, Facebook or mobile phones, meaning she is totally isolated from all her friends and family and has no choice but to settle into her new life with her French surfer boyfriend and his mates. Give her lots of new and scary experiences like driving a car with gears (stick shift), topless beaches (who knew you American gals struggle so much with boobies), a strange language where kissing replaces waving and hugging, shared public toilet facilities and local farmers who stare.

Some might go mad, some might run back to their hectic normality, but Judy lets the love of a good Frenchman and the acceptance of the locals slow her down, relax her and leave her feeling calm and at home. Except when it comes to struggling with the supermarkets, cheese counters and shopping trolleys (carts), when (between my giggles) I feared she might need to return her Upper West Side shrink.

I thoroughly enjoyed her funny descriptions of the vast differences between her old and new life and the only thing that disappointed me was the end. I really wasn’t ready for it to end when it did and I do hope there is another book planned. I guess I am just a naturally nosey person, but I’d love to know what happened next.

Friday in France: A humorous memoir about leaving it all behind. is available in ebook and paperback format and links to Amazon can be found below. Do head over and follow Judy on Facebook, where she shares some lovely pictures of Ile d’Oleron.