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French by Heart: An American Family's Adventures in La Belle Franceby Rebecca S Ramsey
Synopses & Reviews
Becky Ramsey had just about given up on her dream of living in France once she had three young children and a home in a quiet South Carolina suburb. Then one Christmas, her husband's company mentioned there was a position open in France.
Packing up the piano, the elderly cat, the two kids, the baby, and everything but the kitchen sink, the Ramsey family was moving. French By Heart is the adventure of an all-American family finding a new home in France, but this is not your average French travel memoir. The Ramseys are not jet-setters; they're a regular family with big-hearted and rambunctious kids. The town they move to resembles neither Paris nor Provence, and this is no summer vacation. Quickly their lives go from covered-dish suppers to smoky dinner parties with heated polemics, from being surrounded by Southern hospitality to receiving funny looks if the children play in the yard without shoes.
But after a few months, the plucky family hits their stride and learns to love their home on allee de Cerisiers. The children rapidly become fluent in French and the cat overcomes her severe depression with a healthy diet of pate and moonlight walks. The Ramseys even make peace with the busybody across the street who watches the family's every move from behind her living room curtains, and is never afraid to come over and correct them on the proper way to do anything and everything.
A charming tale with world-class characters, French By Heart reads like letters from your funniest friend. More than just a slice of life in France, it's a heartwarming look at a family coming of age, embracing a new culture, and learning what home sweet home really means.
"First-time author Ramsey adopts a sweet but never cloying tone to tell the charming story of her family's four-year stint in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Ramsey, a young mother of three whose husband's company relocates them to France, recounts what it feels like to sell the family home in South Carolina, say good-bye to everyone you know and move overseas. Rather than tell the story chronologically, Ramsey links the narrative to everyday events recalling the pitfalls and petite triumphs inherent in each encounter. Moreover, because the family's command of French is minimal, routine tasks often become embarrassing lessons. Ultimately, Ramsey and her family embrace their adopted country's language and customs. Entering a bookstore, she finds herself surrounded by graceful young women in high heels, short skirts and stylish leather blazers, while she is 'standing there in my big red field jacket and clunky black clogs... like a frumpy giant.' Ramsey acknowledges telling 'the whole truth, even when it makes me look ridiculous' — and this results in an endearing memoir." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Can a family of five from deep in the heart of Dixie find happiness smack dab in the middle of France?
French By Heart is the story of an all-American family pulling up stakes and finding a new home in Clermont-Ferrand, a city four hours south of Paris known more for its smoke-spitting factories and car dealerships than for its location in the Auvergne, the lush heartland of France dotted with crumbling castles and sunflower fields. The Ramseys are not jet-setters; theyre a regular family with big-hearted and rambunctious kids. Quickly their lives go from covered-dish suppers to smoky dinner parties with heated polemics, from being surrounded by Southern hospitality to receiving funny looks if the children play in the yard without shoes.
A charming tale with world-class characters, French By Heart reads like letters from your funniest friend. More than just a slice of life in France, its a heartwarming account of a family coming of age and learning what “home sweet home” really means.
About the Author
REBECCA S. RAMSEY lived with her family in a small village in central France for four years, beginning in 1999, before returning to Greer, South Carolina.
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