French Spirits: A House, a Village, and a Love Affair in Burgundy

by Jeffrey Greene | Travel |
ISBN: 9780060934101 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingeponine38wing of Winchester, Massachusetts USA on 6/22/2019
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingeponine38wing from Winchester, Massachusetts USA on Saturday, June 22, 2019
I read and enjoyed this book several years ago and was happy to find another copy for release.

Here are my comments on the first copy:
Let me start by saying how much I love France, so I may be a bit biased in favor of this book :-). I enjoyed this story of an American couple who buy an old presbytery in rural France (Rogny, in Burgundy - a lesser-known area of the country) and restore it, then a bit later finish the top floor and add dormer windows.

One can tell from the name that this presbytery had been the residence of priests since the 18th century. Many local residents believe it's haunted.

The village of Rogny is not too small to house some colorful characters, especially Coco, a badly disfigured gnome-like alcoholic, who can't communicate much but loves to help others with their projects and odd jobs. Reading about him is bittersweet because he does provide some comedy, though it's largely unintentional. Sadly, he passed away before the book went to press - it's dedicated to his memory.

One of the highlights is the wedding of the author and his longtime companion Mary, held in the back garden of the presbytery, with many overseas friends and relatives in attendance. Getting the food ready was a bit of a challenge as the kitchen was not yet finished.

Greene's mother decides to move [almost the entire contents of her house, it's later learned] from New Haven, CT to the presbytery to live with the couple (part of the reason they went ahead and finished the upper floor :-).

There are some funny moments, as when they attend a regional "donkey fair" out of curiosity and there are no donkeys whatsoever. I won't spoil the surprise, you'll have to read the book!

My one complaint - and it's a small one - is that the author tends to mention more details of their, shall we say, conjugal relations than I want to know. But only on a couple occasions, so I'm probably just being picky (or maybe I'm jealous ;-)

Journal Entry 2 by wingeponine38wing at Panera Bread - Porter Sq in Cambridge, Massachusetts USA on Saturday, June 22, 2019

Released 5 mos ago (6/22/2019 UTC) at Panera Bread - Porter Sq in Cambridge, Massachusetts USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

For the Boston Bookcrossing meetup this afternoon. Hope it finds a new reader!

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I hope you enjoy the book!

Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Sunday, June 23, 2019
Nabbed this one at today's meetup - many thanks! Looks like the kind of travel memoir that I really love!

Journal Entry 4 by wingGoryDetailswing at Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Saturday, July 13, 2019
This was a really enjoyable book, full of immersion in somebody else's life and locale, leading to a mix of envy and relief on my part: envy for the lovely surroundings, amazing food, and intriguing experiences, and relief that I didn't have to deal with the ever-escalating issues in renovating an old and often-crumbling building! The couple is clearly advantaged well beyond the means of most of the people I know, but they still faced very personal challenges and discomforts - and some life-changing alterations-of-plan, as when the author's mother came to live with them. Everyone concerned seems to have dealt with all this with grace (and occasional quirkiness), and the community appears to have embraced its new residents. Indeed, the "Love Affair" in the title applies not only to the author and his wife (their wedding was among the focal points of the book) but to the entire village!

Journal Entry 5 by wingGoryDetailswing at Pawtucket Canal (see notes) in Lowell, Massachusetts USA on Saturday, July 13, 2019

Released 5 mos ago (7/13/2019 UTC) at Pawtucket Canal (see notes) in Lowell, Massachusetts USA

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Not actually on the canal but on Pawtucket Street - left the book, bagged against the elements, on a bench at the Textile Memorial at 193 Pawtucket St. overlooking the river. Hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2019 Keep Them Moving release challenge. ***

Journal Entry 6 by Enniroc at Lowell, Massachusetts USA on Sunday, July 14, 2019
Found the book on the bench at the Textile Memorial at 193 Pawtucket along the Merrimak river while I was walking. The title caught my attention as I am French! I will start my reading and keep you posted... Thanks for sharing.

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