Learning to be French (and Failing)
Anna Bibby owned a successful art gallery in New Zealand until one day, on holiday in France, she bought a falling-down house in a picturesque medieval village.
So began the process of renovating her beautiful old house which, of course, wasn't without its issues and roadblocks. Anna didn't speak the language, she didn't know anyone and her understanding of French culture was limited.
Despite all this she managed to find artisans to help, she survived the brutal winter in the unrenovated house and the locals took her under their wing.
Anna tells her story in a humorous, warm and generous way. She takes a real delight in the place she has found herself in. She has an ongoing relationship with a handsome Portuguese stonemason, doomed attempts at cooking French food and she blithely blunders into local French culture, with amusing results.
Beautifully illustrated with gorgeous photography, this is both an engaging read and also a beautiful book to pore over and dream of your own European adventures.