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On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town

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Susan Loomis arrived in Paris twenty years ago with little more than a student loan and the contents of a suitcase to sustain her. But what began then as an apprenticeship at La Varenne École de Cuisine evolved into a lifelong immersion in French cuisine and culture, culminating in permanent residency in 1994. On Rue Tatin chronicles her journey to an ancient little street Susan Loomis arrived in Paris twenty years ago with little more than a student loan and the contents of a suitcase to sustain her. But what began then as an apprenticeship at La Varenne École de Cuisine evolved into a lifelong immersion in French cuisine and culture, culminating in permanent residency in 1994. On Rue Tatin chronicles her journey to an ancient little street in Louviers, one of Normandy’s most picturesque towns. With lyrical prose and wry candor, Loomis recalls the miraculous restoration that she and her husband performed on the dilapidated convent they chose for their new residence. As its ochre and azure floor tiles emerged, challenges outside the dwelling mounted. From squatters to a surly priest next door, along with a close-knit community wary of outsiders, Loomis tackled the social challenges head-on, through persistent dialogue–and baking. On Rue Tatin includes delicious recipes that evoke the essence of this region, such as Apple and Thyme Tart, Duck Breast with Cider, and Braised Chicken in White Wine and Mustard. Transporting readers to a world where tradition is cherished, On Rue Tatin provides a touching glimpse of the camaraderie, exquisite food, and simple pleasures of daily life in a truly glorious corner of Normandy.

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Susan Loomis arrived in Paris twenty years ago with little more than a student loan and the contents of a suitcase to sustain her. But what began then as an apprenticeship at La Varenne École de Cuisine evolved into a lifelong immersion in French cuisine and culture, culminating in permanent residency in 1994. On Rue Tatin chronicles her journey to an ancient little street Susan Loomis arrived in Paris twenty years ago with little more than a student loan and the contents of a suitcase to sustain her. But what began then as an apprenticeship at La Varenne École de Cuisine evolved into a lifelong immersion in French cuisine and culture, culminating in permanent residency in 1994. On Rue Tatin chronicles her journey to an ancient little street in Louviers, one of Normandy’s most picturesque towns. With lyrical prose and wry candor, Loomis recalls the miraculous restoration that she and her husband performed on the dilapidated convent they chose for their new residence. As its ochre and azure floor tiles emerged, challenges outside the dwelling mounted. From squatters to a surly priest next door, along with a close-knit community wary of outsiders, Loomis tackled the social challenges head-on, through persistent dialogue–and baking. On Rue Tatin includes delicious recipes that evoke the essence of this region, such as Apple and Thyme Tart, Duck Breast with Cider, and Braised Chicken in White Wine and Mustard. Transporting readers to a world where tradition is cherished, On Rue Tatin provides a touching glimpse of the camaraderie, exquisite food, and simple pleasures of daily life in a truly glorious corner of Normandy.

30 review for On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    I went through a phase where all I read were books about ex-pats. I guess I spent alot of the Bush years fantasizing about living in other countries...but I digress. This is a fun read in that vein.

  2. 4 out of 5

    minervasowl

    Read this book while sitting outside on a temperate spring or summer day with a tree or umbrella nearby for shade and while enjoying fresh crusty bread, soft, flavorful cheese, and a chilled glass of wine (perhaps sparkling, perhaps a lighter sauvignon blanc, or whatever your palette fancies). The day will fly by as you relax into the stories and recipes. The subtitle really should be "Living, cooking and restoring an historic home in a French Town" as the story of the acquisition and renovation Read this book while sitting outside on a temperate spring or summer day with a tree or umbrella nearby for shade and while enjoying fresh crusty bread, soft, flavorful cheese, and a chilled glass of wine (perhaps sparkling, perhaps a lighter sauvignon blanc, or whatever your palette fancies). The day will fly by as you relax into the stories and recipes. The subtitle really should be "Living, cooking and restoring an historic home in a French Town" as the story of the acquisition and renovation of the house Loomis shares with her husband and children is as much the core of the book as the French food and culture, perhaps more so, but she weaves everything together so deftly -- the way she must fold egg whites into a cake -- it is difficult to tell. It occurs to me that the reason I enjoyed book so much is that there is a strong echo of Julia Child's joie de vive (did I spell that correctly?), deep love of France and the French, and innate passion for preparing, enjoying and sharing food.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I really want to move. Would never, ever work but this book totally made me dream.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I don't know if this author was trying to paint a picture of her life as perfect, or if she's just looking back on her life with rose-colored glasses. I didn't really feel like I got to know any of the characters- most everyone seemed pleasant enough. The few people with whom she had conflicts were quickly won over in a very Anne-of-Green-Gables kind of way. She mentioned being broke a couple of times, yet somehow managed to move abroad, buy a 15-room house, send her son to private school, and b I don't know if this author was trying to paint a picture of her life as perfect, or if she's just looking back on her life with rose-colored glasses. I didn't really feel like I got to know any of the characters- most everyone seemed pleasant enough. The few people with whom she had conflicts were quickly won over in a very Anne-of-Green-Gables kind of way. She mentioned being broke a couple of times, yet somehow managed to move abroad, buy a 15-room house, send her son to private school, and buy ridiculously expensive things. There was a whole chapter on her and her husband's warm, intimate relationship with their antique rug salesman, from whom they purchase ridiculously expensive rugs from several times each year! This wasn't a complete waste of my time, but if you want to read a memoir about an American relocating to France, try "Lunch in Paris" by Elizabeth Bard or "Almost French" by Sarah Turnbull.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Leigh Kramer

    How is it possible to paint a dreamy yet realistic vision of life in France? Loomis drew me in from the start and while I'm not going to pack my bags for Paris quite yet, she did have me considering the possibilities of life abroad. Oh, to have a life revolving around food and restored convents like them!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elysia Fionn

    Okay, I will take credit for PART of the reason I am coming over all "meh" about this book. The part that's my fault is this: After reading the author's gushing comment about seeing her "breathtakingly handsome" husband for the first time, I put the book down and Googled the husband. What I came up with was a photo of the husband, and no, I didn't think he was attractive, but that's beside the point. What I found out was that after this book was written, they got divorced. Which made me loath to Okay, I will take credit for PART of the reason I am coming over all "meh" about this book. The part that's my fault is this: After reading the author's gushing comment about seeing her "breathtakingly handsome" husband for the first time, I put the book down and Googled the husband. What I came up with was a photo of the husband, and no, I didn't think he was attractive, but that's beside the point. What I found out was that after this book was written, they got divorced. Which made me loath to dive back into a pile of mushy adjectives as she painted the picture of perfect wedded bliss, capering through French country villages and cooking and eating meals more delicious than any meal the reader will ever have experienced. The next thing that made me say "meh" is nobody's fault. See, I worked at a vineyard one summer. An idyllic, perfect vineyard. Run by a married couple who the author and her husband remind me SO very much of. The guy is a conceited jerk. The wife puts up with it. And they both write cookbooks and have a website specifically dedicated to presenting an image of themselves to the world that is so peaceful, organic, wholesome, and privileged that a) no real person could hope to achieve the lifestyle they SEEM to have, and b) most smart people realize that it's a complete facade. They are creating this unreachable ideal so that people will go and buy their wine (or their cookbooks and cooking classes, in the case of this book's author), hoping to touch a little piece of the lifestyle they have. Hoping against hope that because you buy into their carefully crafted image, you might just get a sniff of their "perfect" life. I wanted to punch the author's husband in the face by the time he'd arrived in France. The feeling never left me throughout the rest of the book. I kind of wanted to punch her in the face, too, for putting up with his nonsense, his eye-rolling, and his ego. Another annoyance was the author's misguided belief that readers picked up her book because they wanted to learn French. I mean, a few elegant French words in italics sprinkled sparingly throughout the book - maybe when an actual French person was speaking, say - would have added a little spice to the story... but seriously - by the time I was halfway through the book EVERY PARAGRAPH had italicized French words, followed by a translation. I felt like clapping sarcastically every time. Very good! You speak French! We get it! We don't care! Move on! Ugh. She even italicized the word "agenda" and then translated it... "calendar". Really? Gee, never would have figured that one out. Gag. She also stated in the beginning of the book that she was a vegetarian. Several chapters later, she was rhapsodizing about the chicken, beef, veal, lamb, and wild boar that she and her family were sucking down for breakfast/lunch/dinner/bedtime snacks. So... she's a non-practising vegetarian? A long passage of the book was dedicated to a description of how her house used to be the living quarters for the nuns of the church across the street, and people kept on coming onto their property and into her house uninvited because they thought the house still belonged to the church. She ranted and raved about how inconvenienced she and her family were... and they never once decided to lock their house door or put a lock on the gate. Because "Michael" the arsewipe husband would be inconvenienced by locking the door. Really? So she and her husband are completely stupid, but pages and pages of complaining are inserted for no reason that I can fathom. If you're too stupid to lock your house when you have a three year old child, in a neighborhood that you're aware has crime and drug issues, then don't expect pity. The author is supposedly from America. Hard to believe, considering it took her over six months to finally figure out the answer was locking the gate. The end of the book was a meandering mess, and seemed to have no direction or point (way too many pages dedicated to her anxiety about her son going to school, and painfully boring descriptions of everything that her son and his teachers did and said... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz). What that has to do with French cuisine or anything remotely relevant is beyond me. So why did I give this book two stars? Because the recipes look really good, and I did enjoy the parts of the book where she described the historic house she bought, the gardens, and the townsfolk she met.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marg

    It won't be that much of a surprise to any frequent visitors to my blog to find out that I was instantly attracted to a book that is set in France and features lots of food related stories. This isn't the first time that combination catches my attention, and I expect it won't be the last time either. This book is a foodie memoir by Susan Loomis who has lived in France for many years now and who has written numerous cookbooks as well as running a cooking school in the small town of Louviers in Nor It won't be that much of a surprise to any frequent visitors to my blog to find out that I was instantly attracted to a book that is set in France and features lots of food related stories. This isn't the first time that combination catches my attention, and I expect it won't be the last time either. This book is a foodie memoir by Susan Loomis who has lived in France for many years now and who has written numerous cookbooks as well as running a cooking school in the small town of Louviers in Normandy among other things. She first headed to France as a young woman, serving a foodie apprenticeship before heading back to America and starting a family. Years later she gets commissioned to write a French farmhouse style cookbook. Her husband is an artist and so has no real restriction against him working in France and so they, along with their small son, get the opportunity to move to live in France. Initially intended to be a short to medium term move, soon they find themselves buying a 16th century house that used to be the convent and neck deep in renovations to make it into a home, first and foremost, but also into a test kitchen. Now, years later, this same house is home to a successful cooking school. To read more of my thoughts on this book, and to see a recipe from the book head to http://www.theintrepidreader.com/2013...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Sheree

    If you're a regular on my blog you know I'm drawn to anything France & vaguely foodie related. On Rue Tatin may not be for everyone, some may even find the everyday minutia tedious but for someone dreaming of living in France it's a vicariously fascinating read. Seriously by the last page I was wondering who I'd have to kill bribe to make my dream a reality ;) After doing a chef's apprenticeship in France, Susan returns to America but later moves to France with husband and son in tow to live If you're a regular on my blog you know I'm drawn to anything France & vaguely foodie related. On Rue Tatin may not be for everyone, some may even find the everyday minutia tedious but for someone dreaming of living in France it's a vicariously fascinating read. Seriously by the last page I was wondering who I'd have to kill bribe to make my dream a reality ;) After doing a chef's apprenticeship in France, Susan returns to America but later moves to France with husband and son in tow to live the dream, while writing a book to celebrate French farmhouse cooking. Not just food related chatter, recipe testing (yes there are yummy/doable recipes included and I can't wait to try the famous Tarte Tatin) but all the details on their purchase and renovation of a dilapidated old convent in Louviers, Normandy, her son starting school, interactions with neighbours, friends and townsfolk, the cultural differences, surrounding countryside and life in general. Susan has written a number of cookbooks and her renovated convent home is also home to a successful cooking school. If I had a spare $3500 I'd do a 5 day class at On Rue Tatin. HA A journal-style memoir highlighting Loomis' food passion, cooking locally and seasonally. A book to be enjoyed with crusty bread and soft cheese.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen Valentine

    This started out really good but bogged down toward the end -- it seemed she was trying a bit too hard to find things to write about by the last few chapters. But most of the book is very entertaining. I found her chapters about the discovery of the old convent, the process of purchasing it, and the restoration quite wonderful. And I very much enjoyed her descriptions of village life and learning to get along with the quirky, eccentric neighbors. I had just read I'll Never Be French which is als This started out really good but bogged down toward the end -- it seemed she was trying a bit too hard to find things to write about by the last few chapters. But most of the book is very entertaining. I found her chapters about the discovery of the old convent, the process of purchasing it, and the restoration quite wonderful. And I very much enjoyed her descriptions of village life and learning to get along with the quirky, eccentric neighbors. I had just read I'll Never Be French which is also about an American who moves to France and buys a dilapidated old house in a quaint village so the comparison was interesting. Mark Greenside is by far the better writer but Susan Herrmann Loomis had a more interesting story to tell. I sort of wished they had combined efforts! Definitely worth the read though.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Di

    This book is written very simply and almost journal like at times, and sometimes rambles on a bit too much about daily routine, but I admit to being easily persuaded to delve into the simple pleasures of French country living and ignore what scholars may deem bad writing. I’m a pushover when it comes to market shopping, pasties and coffee in quaint cafes, and the remodel of an ancient monastery. There are also recipes included which I am anxious to try. If you can stand an entire chapter on buyi This book is written very simply and almost journal like at times, and sometimes rambles on a bit too much about daily routine, but I admit to being easily persuaded to delve into the simple pleasures of French country living and ignore what scholars may deem bad writing. I’m a pushover when it comes to market shopping, pasties and coffee in quaint cafes, and the remodel of an ancient monastery. There are also recipes included which I am anxious to try. If you can stand an entire chapter on buying a stove, and enjoyed books like Under The Tuscan Sun and A Year in Provence no doubt you will enjoy this also.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Forest

    A delightful read, the perfect book to wind down with at the end of a busy day. I loved her story of buying a house in France (an American with a husband and child) and uncovering friends and life with family there. There are a lot of books in this genre, my local library seems to be bursting at the seams with them. But this one was refreshing in her focus on people, her own family and the friends she meets and the everyday things they do, like her son starting school. I actually found her story A delightful read, the perfect book to wind down with at the end of a busy day. I loved her story of buying a house in France (an American with a husband and child) and uncovering friends and life with family there. There are a lot of books in this genre, my local library seems to be bursting at the seams with them. But this one was refreshing in her focus on people, her own family and the friends she meets and the everyday things they do, like her son starting school. I actually found her story inspiring, here was someone doing something she loves and making it work.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Being a Francophile trapped in the Midwest, I enjoyed every minute of the author's transformation to a life in Normandy, France. I now own the book so I can enjoy browsing through it anytime. If you enjoy quaint villages, charming characters, home redos, and also the craziness of family life reconstruction in a new place, WITH recipes, what could stop you from loving On Rue Tatin?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    On Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis is another French ex-pat type memoir that combined cooking and recipes. Win-win for me! Most times I travel through the written word, through books instead of airline terminals…….so many reasons. Much of what I enjoy is the detailed descriptions of the sites and history, paired with the local food. From afar I have fallen in love with France, as did Susan Herrmann Loomis. I visited France about 100 years ago when I was a young pup of 21. Culture shock aside, I On Rue Tatin by Susan Herrmann Loomis is another French ex-pat type memoir that combined cooking and recipes. Win-win for me! Most times I travel through the written word, through books instead of airline terminals…….so many reasons. Much of what I enjoy is the detailed descriptions of the sites and history, paired with the local food. From afar I have fallen in love with France, as did Susan Herrmann Loomis. I visited France about 100 years ago when I was a young pup of 21. Culture shock aside, I loved the food, anticipated exploring the cultural differences and it was all an adventure. I had stepped through a looking glass of sorts as this was my first European experience. Loomis fell in love with France too. Our similarities? She went to France when she was 20, she was interested in cooking and very interested in the culture and food. But I was an old hippie enjoying what life brought, not seriously looking beyond the next chocolate croissant to be scored in the morning. But Susan……. Susan acquired an apprenticeship at La Varenne de Cuisine in Paris. One girl coasting, another with drive and goals. When Susan and her husband Michael moved to France they brought their small son along. He had his share of culture shock too. Through a fortuitous turn of events, they are able to purchase a dilapidated former convent in Louviers – This leads to another portrait of Susan’s industrious work ethic. The convent was in awful condition but together, they fixed it up and Susan embarked on a writing and culinary career. She hooked up with Patricia Wells and fell ass backwards into an amazing cooking gig. Wow. A life as ex-patriates……what a romantic idea. One my spouse and I have hashed out over the years. The venue changes periodically but the end result has us living overseas, enjoying all the wines, cheeses, specialty foods of the area …..I guess I haven’t changed too much but have a soul mate that shares the (unattainable)dream. In this book Susan shares the stories of her family’s adjustment to French culture, interactions with her friends, neighbors and best of all…..recipes! If you enjoy the genre of Peter Mayle, Frances Mayes and Carol Drinkwater (I love Carol Drinkwater) – the sort of travel, adventure in settling in another country, foodie type book, then I think you’d like On Rue Tatin. Many good recipes but let me share the Stuffed Tomato. Stuffed Tomatoes 3 tablespoons canola oil 8 round medium tomatoes, halved crosswise 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 1/4 pound ground pork 1/4 pound ground veal 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 3/4 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese 1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Using a melon baller, hollow out the tomato halves, leaving thin cups; reserve the scooped out tomato flesh in a bowl. Set the tomato cups on the prepared baking sheet. 2. In a large skillet, melt the butter in 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the ground pork and veal and season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the ground pork and veal with a wooden spoon, until the meats lose their pink color, about 4 minutes; don't let them brown. Add the reserved tomato flesh to the skillet and cook until the juices evaporate, about 5 minutes. 3. Transfer the meat mixture to a bowl and let cool slightly. Beat in the parsley, eggs, 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and the Parmesan. Spoon the stuffing into the tomato cups, mounding it slightly. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of bread crumbs over the tomatoes and drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. 4. Bake the tomatoes for about 45 minutes, or until the sides are soft and the stuffing is hot throughout. Set 4 stuffed tomato halves on each plate and serve. Make Ahead - The baked stuffed tomatoes can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Cover them with foil and reheat in a 350° oven for 10 minutes, then uncover and bake for about 15 minutes longer, or until heated through.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Smam

    Hmmm. I basically blew through this, it was the perfect read for a weekend on the lake. Lately I've been kind of into these really twee, wish-fulfillment, ooh i live in france and cook all the time type books. It's fun to read and imagine having such a charmed life! But this one, idk, something about her writing style really bugged me. I think the overuse of the word 'for' as 'because' maybe? Which isn't grammatically incorrect or anything, but for some reason it just really bugged me and made t Hmmm. I basically blew through this, it was the perfect read for a weekend on the lake. Lately I've been kind of into these really twee, wish-fulfillment, ooh i live in france and cook all the time type books. It's fun to read and imagine having such a charmed life! But this one, idk, something about her writing style really bugged me. I think the overuse of the word 'for' as 'because' maybe? Which isn't grammatically incorrect or anything, but for some reason it just really bugged me and made the tone of the book sooo weird, it sounded so bad and like jarred me every time it happened. It's weird when you notice something like that and then you can't stop noticing it. Anyway, beyond that, this author sort of annoyed me in some ways because like...I know we don't want to talk about money in our charmed memoir, but like...she keeps insisting they aren't rich americans, but she writes cookbooks and he's a sculptor who also takes years off to work on the house, and they can somehow afford this house, all the tons and tons of materials needed for all those repairs, plus fancy fresh bread and fruit and all that stuff for every meal. Like come on!! Where's the part where you have to live off ramen in the microwave for a bit? Easy for you to talk smack about ~*the common grocery stores*~ with ~*frozen veggies*~ when you apparently can afford ten kinds of fancy cheese for every meal. Anyway sorry! Rant aside, I guess this book annoyed me in a lot of ways, but it was also an easy read and enjoyable enough, perfect lake weekend book basically.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Why do we read this type of text except for a vicarious thrill and the gleaning of little details of French life? I can't understand the sometimes negative reviews here. This isn't a work of fiction and these people seem to be reading it in the wrong spirit if they expect it to be. For what it is, a chronicle of one woman and her family's life in France. I found it enjoyable and would recommend it. If a few readers are by now jaded thinking it yet ANOTHER Peter Mayle, Ann Barry, et al. tale, wel Why do we read this type of text except for a vicarious thrill and the gleaning of little details of French life? I can't understand the sometimes negative reviews here. This isn't a work of fiction and these people seem to be reading it in the wrong spirit if they expect it to be. For what it is, a chronicle of one woman and her family's life in France. I found it enjoyable and would recommend it. If a few readers are by now jaded thinking it yet ANOTHER Peter Mayle, Ann Barry, et al. tale, well then they need to move on and read something else instead of expecting to find magic. Enjoyable. And it has some recipes.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Esther Brumme

    Susan's account of her first years in Louviers, France reads like a relaxed walk in the park, stopping to look at a recipe book. It feels to me a little less novel of a travel memoir due to the fact that her everyday is our everyday. It's just our daily life in France. I had expected more of a dramatic storyline, but it was still an enjoyable read. Her astute observations of the land and the culture are another reminder of how wonderful our mundane, normal life is in this magnificent country.

  17. 5 out of 5

    WR

    Another of the France books that I've been reading in quick succession. This one was kinda 'random', it was almost as though the author was literally writing the story of her move to France. Not particularly exciting/eventful (except right at the end), and with no particular theme running through it. Even the recipes were kinda random. Easy reading, but not great.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    Building out my goodreads list with my faves...years ago I read an article about this PNW writer who moved to France with her family to realize her dreams. When I finally read this book, I found her description of the process enchanting. And the food...OMG!

  19. 5 out of 5

    writer...

    Reading stack tbr for #ParisinJuly2017 during #highsummerreadathon

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kristiana

    what a spoiled brat

  21. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    I enjoyed this as a nice evening read. The author worked with Patricia Wells and had an enchanting live moving to France. Some nice recipes and included.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Kosiec

    Reminds me of Chocolat and Under the Tuscan Sun. Beautiful food writing and the descriptions of the renovation process on an old house were very interesting.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

    It was interesting to find out more about France and how living there can be totally inconvenient especially if you're an americaine stupide that buys a wreck of a place...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey K

    I have a serious love affair with Europe in general, and any time I read a book about someone's life in France, it makes me want to jump on a plane and change my place of residence immediately. Susan makes Louviers come to life, and I thoroughly enjoyed living vicariously through her stories! Thank you for sharing your experience with us!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Arlene

    I have had this book on my To Be Read list for quite a while. If you love all things French, this is the book for you. Susan Loomis, her husband and young son move from Maine to France to enjoy life in the Normandy region of France. Susan is writing a cook book, her husband is remodeling the old house they have purchased and young Joe is experiencing preschool in a new country. Susan is a master story teller, sharing what is is like for an American to experience a different culture. Along with t I have had this book on my To Be Read list for quite a while. If you love all things French, this is the book for you. Susan Loomis, her husband and young son move from Maine to France to enjoy life in the Normandy region of France. Susan is writing a cook book, her husband is remodeling the old house they have purchased and young Joe is experiencing preschool in a new country. Susan is a master story teller, sharing what is is like for an American to experience a different culture. Along with the story there are many lovely recipes.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Unwisely

    Another of my "books that I owned and hadn't read" pile. I didn't know what I was getting into going into it, but I ended up with a pleasant-enough memoir about, basically, falling in love with France. Cooking school, house renovation, working from home, having a baby. Nothing earth-shattering, but extremely pleasant. (Also a case study in "know the right people"!) The book really excels in painting a picture of life in small town (??? seemed like it in the book) France, to the point where I got o Another of my "books that I owned and hadn't read" pile. I didn't know what I was getting into going into it, but I ended up with a pleasant-enough memoir about, basically, falling in love with France. Cooking school, house renovation, working from home, having a baby. Nothing earth-shattering, but extremely pleasant. (Also a case study in "know the right people"!) The book really excels in painting a picture of life in small town (??? seemed like it in the book) France, to the point where I got off the plane where I was reading it and was a little confused as to where I was.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Calee Spinney

    Yet another great book that leaves me day dreaming about the possibilities of owning a home and living in France. I really enjoyed her food-centered stories, and the recipes all sounded delicious.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Gienapp

    A lovely, perfect book for the cabin. Transports the reader to the beautiful French countryside - the recipes scattered throughout are lovely and tempting. A delightful summer read.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    So she goes to Paris for culinary school, is offered a writing job in addition to cooking, falls in love with both Paris and an area that's part suburb/part rural in France, gets married, decides to buy an old convent that needs a TON of work, and basically lives happily ever after. I have to say that first, the recipes at the end of each chapter instead of at the end of the book was a distraction. She complains quite a bit about how the French seem to do things, yet she stays for the food, her So she goes to Paris for culinary school, is offered a writing job in addition to cooking, falls in love with both Paris and an area that's part suburb/part rural in France, gets married, decides to buy an old convent that needs a TON of work, and basically lives happily ever after. I have to say that first, the recipes at the end of each chapter instead of at the end of the book was a distraction. She complains quite a bit about how the French seem to do things, yet she stays for the food, her friends, and the landscape. The whole organic thing just irked me as well. Even now, organic doesn't mean better. Well tended, healthy, environmentally friendly, and fresh are what makes produce better, not a stupid label. And don't even get me started on homeopathy. Then there's the work on her house. For someone who didn't really have the money, expected to be in the house in 3 months, and was already over budget, in a country where everything costs so much more because of taxes (even though they receive a LOT for what they pay in taxes), why go out every day for fresh bread, hot chocolate, and coffee? It makes no sense.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Such a charming story with many dog-eared recipes. Dreaming even more of our upcoming stay in France, hoping the very long holiday is as delightful as Susan's!

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