Saturday, March 25, 2017

Book review of One Sip at a Time by Keith Van Sickle

French Village Diaries book review One Sip at a Time by Keith Van Sickle
One Sip at a Time by Keith Van Sickle

My review today is for One Sip at a Time: Learning to Live in Provence, a memoir of time spent in France, by Keith Van Sickle.

This book (with it’s gorgeous cover) is well titled, as it is more a collection of events and situations rather than a typical memoir. Each one is no more than a sip, perfectly rounded on the palette in terms of flavour and description, but not quite as thirst quenching as taking a satisfying gulp. There were times I wanted more.

Keith and Val have a dream to live in Provence, and unlike many, they come up with a plan to make that dream come true, even if it’s only on a part-time basis. By becoming consultants they are able to split their time between France and Silicon Valley in the States and from the start throw themselves into French village life, even if they knew they would only be staying for three months. This is to be highly commended and I’m sure gave them a much richer and better experience. They actively sought out real French people to talk to and learn from. They enjoyed sampling the food and drink available locally. They read French newspapers daily and immersed themselves in French culture and politics wherever possible – chapeau to them!

In a humorous way Keith highlights the (many) differences between the life they have left behind and the life they now find themselves living and yes, even for a Brit the French way can be difficult to understand at first. Reading this book made me realise I must have been in France too long as I found myself raising an eyebrow in disbelief at some of his observations. For example, in my experience if you avoid the hot spots of Paris and Provence, while not every driver is careful (where in the world are they?) there is far less madness on the roads than the author would have you believe.

This book highlights what is possible when you work hard at making your dreams come true and is available in ebook format and in paperback, links to Amazon can be found below.

You can follow Keith on his website here, and on Twitter too.