corner corner House in the Sunflowers: Summer in Aquitaine

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House in the Sunflowers: Summer in Aquitaine
by Ruth Silvestre | Literature & Fiction
Registered by Liinuskainen of Lieksa, Pohjois-Karjala / Norra Karelen Finland on 12/27/2007
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by edithdoll): travelling


5 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by Liinuskainen from Lieksa, Pohjois-Karjala / Norra Karelen Finland on Thursday, December 27, 2007

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"In 1976, in the Lot-et-Garonne region of southwest France, Ruth Silvestre and her family found and fell in love with, Bel-Air de Grezelongue, a house that had been left, deserted and uninhabited for ten years. "A House in the Sunflowers" provides rare glimpses of French family life in the region that is considered the gastronomic center of France, complete with mouth-watering descriptions of meals in the sun and fascinating insights into the history and customs of this area. In this charming, funny and romantic book, Ruth Silvestre manages to include much practical and useful information for those who also wish to fulfil their dreams abroad. Lovers of France, its rural life and customs will be delighted with "A House in the Sunflowers" and its unforgettable love affair." (from amazon) 


Journal Entry 2 by dotdot from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, February 21, 2008

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This very sunny looking book arrived today. Thanks a lot, Liinuskainen! 


Journal Entry 3 by dotdot at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, May 13, 2014

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A very delighting read. Perhaps someone who's in to France would have liked it even more.  


Journal Entry 4 by dotdot at OBCZ Pilkku in Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, May 15, 2014

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Released 4 yrs ago (5/15/2014 UTC) at OBCZ Pilkku in Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Morning release in Pilkku  


Journal Entry 5 by kirjakko at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Tuesday, June 24, 2014

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I just said that I'm trying to get rid of books, but Brits adjusting to Frenchness are to my liking. Will give this a try, besides I'm off to France in a few weeks time. 


Journal Entry 6 by kirjakko at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Saturday, July 19, 2014

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I'm half way through and comment some before I forget what I'll want to say.
I've never heard of this actress (Ruth Silverstre), but I would imagine that apart from the sun they were seeking in France, it would be nice for an actress and her children's author hubby to have a holiday home in the French countryside where nobody knew them (although she has not said so, at least yet).
This book is different from all other Brits abroad -books as the family has not run into cultural clashes / been cheated by builders / bought something which they thought was something completely different. Ok, I'm only half way through, but this story appears to be too good to be true. Actually, I know it's not true. I've just returned from France, where we had sun only two days out of seven and somebody had set the thermos on 12-15 C degrees (in July!).
The mention of the Colorado beetle (doryphor) reminds me of the story of one of my brothers as a child. He is one of those people who was born "old". Already in the kindergarten he corrected grammatic errors of the teachers and he always disliked adults who talked down to kids. Like the doctor who was called at home to see him when he was ill. He wouldn't answer when the Doc talked kid stuff to him, but when the Doc had given up trying to connect with him and was talking with my parents there came a question from the patient:"Do you know what a Colorado beetle looks like?"
"No, I'm afraid I don't", said the Doc, trying not to laugh. I guess my bro thought he wasn't much of a doctor and it was the end of conversation. 


Journal Entry 7 by kirjakko at Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Sunday, July 20, 2014

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Just as I said all was going too well they had builders cover three beautiful stone walls with concrete and leave the one needing repair undone. And a storm molest their chimney and roof. Apart from that - all too rosy...
What bothered the non-French-speaking moi was that the writer used so much French without bothering to translate. At the very end her advice was to learn French, but still I would have liked either the translations or writing in English in the first place. This I call snobbery.
I will put this aside for eponine38's birthday. She has a soft spot for all things French. I hope I will still find this when it is due. 


Journal Entry 8 by kirjakko at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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Released 4 yrs ago (9/18/2014 UTC) at Winchester, Massachusetts USA

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Sending some sunflowers over for a December birthday! Enjoy! 


Journal Entry 9 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Thursday, December 11, 2014

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Thank you, kirjakko! Yes, the sunflowers are brightening this unusual-for-here long rainy spell. At least if it were snow it would be pretty. Anyway, I do indeed love all things French, so look forward to reading this. Kiitos! 


Journal Entry 10 by wingeponine38wing at Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Saturday, May 30, 2015

7 out of 10

[A note on the above journal entry: I will NEVER, ever again say that snow would be better than rain. Not after the record-breaking snowfall we had from January to March of this year. The December rain must have been the weather gods practicing before playing their little joke. Of course, since the previous journalers are Finns, I shouldn't complain too much!] ;-)

And now to the book:
My impressions are much the same as kirjakko’s. Everything does seem too perfect, with those rare exceptions she mentioned. And although I speak French (more or less ;-), I was shocked by the number of untranslated items which range from a word or two to entire, long sentences. All this while Ms. Silvestre bemoans the fact that she doesn’t speak French very well. You’d think she would have more compassion for the non-francophone reader!

I could have done with less detail about all the various harvests, though I do have much more respect now for the work involved, especially back in the 70’s when they were just starting to get labor-saving machines. Speaking of the 70’s though, this takes place at about the same time that I spent a semester in France (though in a different region) so it feels sort of like a snapshot of a very pleasant and carefree time in my life.

The multi-course meals eaten by the farmers and their neighbor-helpers were amazing. To eat that much at midday, in warm weather, and then return (after a leisurely meal, of course) to complete work in the afternoon is mind-boggling – not just the quantity of food but often a different wine with each course, and sometimes the after-dinner drink as well. No way could I get up out of a chair and go back to heavy labor. Ah, the French and their food!

I hadn’t heard of Ms. Silvestre either, so of course I googled her (what did we do before the Internet? I can’t even remember) and learned that this is the first book in a trilogy. The second, A Harvest of Sunflowers, takes place 20 years later. I think it would be interesting to see how much has changed in rural Aquitaine during that time, as I’ve followed changes in Paris (there are many!) through the years. The third and final title is Reflections of Sunflowers: A Bittersweet Return to the Idyllic South of France.

Although I didn’t absolutely love A House in the Sunflowers, it was largely enjoyable and I will probably seek out the other two books.

Thanks again, kirjakko!
 


Journal Entry 11 by wingeponine38wing at Panera Bread, 299 Harvard St. in Brookline, Massachusetts USA on Saturday, May 30, 2015

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Released 3 yrs ago (5/30/2015 UTC) at Panera Bread, 299 Harvard St. in Brookline, Massachusetts USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

For the special Saturday BookCrossing meetup.

DEAR FINDER,

Welcome to BookCrossing!

Please make a journal entry so we know this book has found a new home.You don't need to join BookCrossing and you can remain completely anonymous. However, we encourage you to join so that you can follow this book's future travels. (You’ll receive an email anytime someone makes a journal entry). It's fun, free, and confidential. If you decide to join, consider listing eponine38 as referring you.

Take your time reading the book, and after you finish, please make another journal entry to record your thoughts about it. This book is now yours, and you can keep it if you choose, though we would love for you to share it. If you pass it along, please make a release note to let others know where you left it “in the wild”, or a journal entry if you gave/sent it to a known person.

I hope you enjoy the book!
 


Journal Entry 12 by wingedithdollwing at Brookline, Massachusetts USA on Sunday, May 31, 2015

This book has not been rated.

Caught at: Special Sat. May 2015 meet up for Boston Bookcrossing.
Going into the pile for summer reading.
Thank you.  


Journal Entry 13 by wingedithdollwing at Winthrop, Massachusetts USA on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

8 out of 10

This is a lovely memoir by a British actress and her family that buy and restore a house in
the Aquitaine region of France. It was published in 1991, before Under the Tuscan Sun in 1996, but differs greatly in much of the events took place around 1976, and onward from then in the late 70's. Apparently it is the first book in a series of three. The author shares how her family became part of the extended family of the adjacent farm and the surrounding villagers and town. Unlike Under the Tuscan Sun, there are no recipes but the author details the local food and wine with a lot of detail with care to customs and tradition versus the foodie raptures of present day. Also unlike Under the Tuscan Sun -- you don't feel that we are so put upon/we are so privileged dual narration that can sometimes sort of get to you reading these type of nonfiction memoirs. Nice light summer read.
To be released 7/22/15 -- in my office building community bookshelf, cafeteria basement level: One Ashburton Place, Boston, MA 02108.  


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