Patricia Feinberg Stoner
I sniggered, I cackled and my belly ached as I travelled through the adventures in France. What a treat! You must, must, must ‘(expletive deleted)’ read this book about following a dream: remember ‘what the heart wants, the heart wants’.
A relationship will thrive if you are destined to follow an impulsive dream together; but you must be able to laugh with so much gusto that you ‘fear for your trousers’. The dream of life in France is contrasted with the reality. This writer is a witty wordsmith who delivers a punchline like an artful comedian. I found myself laughing so much that my husband wanted to understand what was so funny, but I couldn’t articulate it without reading sections aloud. Indeed, I can echo the author’s words that ‘I have been crying with laughter and sniggering – Himself was not amused’.
Patricia Feinberg Stoner has a unique flair for writing comedy and you will be drunk with laughter. She will make you laugh at stories involving: ironing boards, party planning, trips to the second-hand shops, renovation and every day incidents. Les Dawson, Dawson’s poodle and Mighty Mouse feature in the escapades. If you are confused then you will have to learn the ‘gallic shrug’ and say ‘alors’.
You cannot ‘loiter politely’ or ‘cough Englishly’ in France; it’s not even sufficient to speak French. The narrative shows you that ‘if you want to integrate, you have to do it at the locals’ pace.’ You will learn subtleties of why the French mock the English and why we laugh at the French. Mais oui, we have so much in common as we like to eat drink and laugh. It’s not that simple! It was pure genius to invite the locals for an English breakfast and afternoon tea; fight traditions with more traditions and vive la difference. One must accept that the British will never know what time bonjour becomes bonsoir. One must rejoice in the fact that ‘in France, you spend a lot of time eating’.
Patricia’s witty observations will instruct you in French way of life. However, it is refreshing to view British culture through French eyes and laugh at our own idiosyncrasies. Despite the culture gap, Herself and Himself charmed the locals. In turn, you will also be charmed by: Henri, Loony Tunes, P’tit Gui and a comedy of wonderful people. However, the most endearing characters in the book are Patricia, Himself and, Purdey, the dog. Wouldn’t it be great fun to invite Patricia and Himself to a dinner party? I dare you to ask Patricia if Henri almost made her blush. Perhaps, Himself would agree to partake in a spot of demolition after coffee.
I can’t tell you how or when Patricia’s wonderful turn of phrase will make you chuckle. I can’t tell you about all the hilarious events that will make you rush to read more. I can tell you that there may not be a cure for the hangover that the laughter will cause.
Read At Home in the Pays d’Oc if you want to move to France: read it if you don’t want to move to France – just read it for the ‘(expletive deleted)’ hell of it. And let’s thank Jean-Jacques for finding the house, with a terrace, and ensuring that it wasn’t time ‘to cry finie la comédie’.