But You Are In France Madame: Book Review
“One family, three children, five bags and the promise of adventure living in the French Alps”
Australian Catherine Berry dreamt of experiencing life like a local in France with her husband and three children which, after much planning, she did for four years and has now written about in her delightful book, ‘But you are in France Madame’. With suitcases packed this family of five jumped on a flight to Paris that would change the course of their lives forever.
Living As An Expat in France
The title says it all. Life in France is very different to that in Australia as Catherine and her family were constantly reminded of. These differences were often the source of much consternation but also immense joy. As anyone who has tried to assimilate into a different culture knows, it takes a physical passage of time, untold patience and spades of flexibility on your part to accept, and be accepted into, the landscape of your adopted new culture.
Catherine openly shares experiences such as a trip to the doctor, the time they all got bitten by bed bugs, getting taken advantage of by the local garage mechanic and that defining moment when at a parent-teacher interview her daughter’s teacher points out ‘but you are in France Madame’ with its unsaid message that it is not up to her to question French methods as a foreigner, but rather to silently comply.
As the reader we join in on the every day activities of school, library visits, play dates and children’s birthday parties, shopping and dining out. You will cheer, shake your head and maybe shed a tear as you journey along with this little family living their self appointed adventure.
With an open reflective style this 378 page book is an enjoyable read, transporting you directly to Annecy (check out where Annecy is on Google Maps) with its cobbled streets, the typical Sunday morning bakery queue and snow covered mountains.
Food in France explored in But You Are In France Madame
With section headings such as Galette and Gâteau, Fête du Boudin, Food Glorious Food and Pavlova and Pâtisseries, the gastronomic delights of France are explored and rated by this family. Their enthusiasm to experience all that France has to offer is refreshing and I have to agree that Boudin deserves its very low rating on the food enjoyment scale! Have you tried Boudin? Is it a food you would choose to eat regularly?
Buying A Home In Talloires, France
With the adventure coming to an end as the family return to Australia, Catherine and her husband couldn’t face not returning to their beloved village so purchased their own home in the village of Talloires and now return whenever they can. Calling their home ‘Le Cormoran’ (after their namesake vide-grenier find of a handcrafted wooden fishing boat) they offer it for rental so others can also live like a local skiing, cycling, visiting markets or simply enjoying the gastronomic delights of the region. With the beautiful village of Talloires, located on Annecy Lake it is close to Geneva and popular year round.
Bookings can be made on the Le Coromoran Talloires website or by contacting Catherine by email firstname.lastname@example.org
I have loved getting to know Catherine, who is a kindred spirit and with our children of similar ages and having homes in Australia only 135 kilometres apart and a strong love for our adopted country of France we have a lot in common.
Click on the Amazon link below to purchase your own copy of ‘But you are in France Madame’ and if buying as a gift maybe for Mother’s Day or a birthday, then match it with one of our original A French Collection gift cards available on our Etsy Store AFrenchCollection or by clicking on the card image. You will be popular! Our Amazon affiliate programme disclosure can be read for more information.
See you again here shortly … Annette xx
Interview With Catherine Berry, Author of But You Are In France Madame
Knowing you would all love to find out what Catherine is doing now and find out more about her book, I caught up with Catherine over lunch in Sydney. Check out what she has to say…
PIN TO READ AGAIN LATER