I was contacted recently by author Keith Van Sickle about his memoir of his experiences living in Provence, France. I was immediately interested in reading his book. You may not know, but I have minor in French and was on my way to being a certified French teacher through the University of Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, despite my ability to read and write French, my conversational French left little to be desired. As a poor college student, I could not afford to travel abroad to become immersed in the language as all my fellow students were doing. I abandoned my dream of becoming a French teacher (though not my love for all things French….Chocolat de pan, especially.) I changed my major(s) to English Literature and Library Sciences, and here I am.
However, this review is not about me. It is about Keith Van Sickle and his delightful wife, Val. (I call her delightful even though I have not met her because Keith describes her as someone I would want to be friends with). Keith and Val have had a love for travel and the French culture, so they decide to quit their jobs in Silicon Valley to move to France along with their dog, Lucca. This is Keith’s account of their time there. Each “chapter” is more of a anecdotal snapshot of their experiences. They are fun to read and made my mouth water with the description of the bread, butter, croissants, roast chicken, fresh vegetables….you get the idea. I loved reading about the cultural and political differences they encountered as they learned the language as they went along. It is a quick, entertaining read. If you are looking to read something that will make you feel cozy and happy…read this. Warning: you may be tempted to quit you job and follow in their footsteps. I know I am.