|Finding Fontainebleau Thad Carhart|
Today I am taking part in a virtual book tour for Finding Fontainebleau by Thad Carhart. This is a memoir of the author’s childhood when his family moved from the US to Fontainebleau, on the outskirts of Paris, in the 1950’s.
His Father was a US Army Colonel on a three-year assignment working for NATO and stationed at the Chateau in Fontainebleau. The family arrived after an epic flight to find life in post-war France was very different from what they had been used to in the US. Crossing the Atlantic was also quite a journey back then, in a bouncy propeller aircraft that had to make many stops and his poor Mother was travelling alone with her five children, as his Father had gone on ahead to start work and find the family a home.
Thad shares his memories of a four-year-old boy, seeing the house for the first time, settling in, his experiences at school and the locals who help them, especially in the first weeks. Life was certainly not without drama, especially at school where he had the language and culture to learn and despite his young age, many things from these years spent in France formed strong memories for him. I thought his Mother sounded like a remarkable women who adapted well to life in France and living the French way. He tells many stories of her recollections that showed she had a real sensitivity to the needs of others.
Fontainebleau becomes a special place for Thad that he returns to later in life and throughout the book his passion and knowledge of the chateau shines through. Woven into his childhood memories are his recent visits and he takes the time to explain the history of the Chateau and the many architectural changes that have occurred over the centuries. His enthusiasm has certainly sparked my interest and made me want to plan a visit.
This book is like a living history tour of the chateau and the town of Fontainebleau and there was a lot to keep my interest as I read, although for me it lacked a bit of wow factor. If you are planning a trip to Paris, do try to include Fontainebleau (I will be next time) and if you do, read this book before you go, as it will enhance your visit.
Connect with Thad
Here are the other blogs hosting Thad and Finding Fontainebleau
Wednesday, July 6th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Thursday, July 7th: Bibliotica
Friday, July 8th: View from the Birdhouse
Monday, July 11th: Books on the Table
Tuesday, July 12th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, July 13th: Girls in White Dresses
Thursday, July 14th: Building Bookshelves
Monday, July 18th: Sharon’s Garden of Book Reviews
Tuesday, July 19th: The French Village Diaries
Wednesday, July 20th: Quirky Bookworm
Thursday, July 21st: Wordsmithonia
Friday, July 22nd: BookNAround
Monday, July 25th: Back Porchervations
Tuesday, July 26th: An Accidental Blog
Wednesday, July 27th: Lit and Life
Thursday, July 28th: All Roads Lead to the Kitchen
Friday, July 29th: Musings of a Writer and Unabashed Francophile