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But you are in France, Madame by [Berry, Catherine]
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But you are in France, Madame Kindle Edition

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Kindle Edition, 10 Feb 2016
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Length: 384 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product Description

At the collège for a parent-teacher interview, I met my daughter outside in the courtyard and she showed me up to her classroom. Her teacher was busy chatting, so we waited patiently in the corridor. When he did come out, he indicated that the meeting would take place downstairs and headed off with us in tow.

Before sitting down, I introduced myself using my first name, and put out my hand to be shaken. He mumbled back his full name as he took my hand, although I suspect he would have been shocked if I had actually dared use it. By this stage, I had already understood that teachers did not expect to be questioned about their practices. Of course, I did—question him, that is; politely and almost deferentially. There was a slight pause, as he dipped his head to better digest what he had heard. Then, with the assurance of a perfect, unarguable answer, he replied, “But you are in France, Madame”.

Some months before, my husband, three children and I had casually unzipped and discarded our comfortable Australian lifestyle and slipped on life in the country of haute couture. On arrival, there was no celebrity designer waiting for us, ready to pin and fit our new life to us; so we threw it on and wore it loosely, tightly, uncomfortably, any old how—until we learned for ourselves how to trim, hem and stitch à la française. This book is testament to the joyous, but not always easy, journey that we took along the way.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 10102 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Catherine P M Berry (10 February 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01BN54FXS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,596 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I'm not sure it's because the author lived the life in France I have always dreamed of, or simply because I was swept up in the customs, the food, the places and just the pleasantries of everyday life. If you have always wondered what life might be like if you took the brave step to move halfway across the world with your family, you should share these adventures. The author finely balances beautifully descriptive passages, insightful comments on people and places and some of the more sobering aspects involved in facing life's hurdles.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Living the Savoe life 15 February 2017
By J. Bucar - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Yes there are many books about people who chuck it all and move to France, renovate an old house or teach others how to be chic. This is Not one of those books. Berry and her young family moved to the Savoie region of France for a limited period of time. The idea was to live the French life, expose the children to French culture and fulfill her own dreams as a Francophile. What emerges is anything but trite or cliché. We, the reader, lives with Berry, her husband and young children as they move through the day, encountering the usual bureaucratic obstacles yes but also the sheer joy of walking in the village, or through the hills up to a castle. We go on family outings, picnics and community excursions. Interspersed with glimpses or other times panoramas of French life are real life scenarios...losing a son in the mountains or having a serious health scare far from home. I spend a lot of time in France, have lots of friends, some of whom I call family; I am bilingual. Yes, a Francophile. But this book appealed to me in many ways. There were no revelations of French life or culture for me but nonetheless, I was there on every page, immersed in the daily life of the Berry family, of the area. The Savoie is the one area of France I know little about, just a day or so there. But in this book, I came to see a different way of French life. Those living here do not have the same rhythm of life of say a Parisian or a Provencal. The same core of French life exists which is always a delight to read about as others discover it but there is also a uniqueness to each region of France. And Berry really gives the reader the impression that he/she too is living that day to day life with the Berry family. It took courage to leave one's family, support network, and move to France. Not from England where so many have done so, a short plane or even train ride away. But from Australia, on the other side of the world. You also come to live their life through their children's eyes, a virgin canvas with no preconceived ideas. "Watching" them appreciate what we all love in France was a joy. I would have love to have learned more about their school experiences, the classroom and their play dates. We see very little conflict in the book although I know the French educational system is so different at least from the American one, more dogmatic, rote learning. Maybe it's not so different in Australia but it would have been interesting also to learn about those experiences as well. Perhaps another book? If so, I'll be the first to buy it! This is a good book for anyone interested in France and the French life and if you've read many already ( I have lost count of the many I have already read), you won't be disappointed in reading about the Berry family's experiences.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A loving memoir of a family's joy in France and in each other 9 June 2016
By kiwi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Catherine Berry's book covers the magical period of four years when she, her husband, and their three young children lived and traveled in France. Settling in the area of Annecy, they survive early struggles with language and the winter weather to fully become part of the local community with all of its quirks and charming traditions. Always thoughtful and self-aware, Ms. Berry generously shares the special moments of her family life. We go with her on darling morning walks to school with her little boy, skiing with her husband, and proudly watching her daughters master French customs and cheeses. But she does not shrink from the negatives. Again we are with her as she is diagnosed with cancer, and imagines all that she loves slipping away. Happily, she survives, and we are treated to some further journeys to Paris and Brittany. Anyone who loves France or appreciates an honest and well-written memoir will love this book.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading for budding Francophiles and anyone going to live in France... 12 April 2016
By K. Howard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A *must read* for anyone going to live in France for an extended period, especially if you have children. This lovely book details the personal experiences of an Australian family of five realising their dream of going to live in the Haute-Savoie department of France, and enrolling their children at local schools. The author creates a sense of adventure in a fun and interesting read, while providing a valuable insight into French culture and the subtleties and nuances of conducting everyday life in France, that you are unlikely to get from any travel guide. Highly recommended.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Well-Written and Engaging Memoir about an Australian Family's Experiment in French Living 20 September 2016
By Leslie M. Ficcaglia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Excellent book about an Australian family's experiment living in France. The author writes intelligently and well, and shares her experiences in an interesting, engaging manner. She and her family seem to have gained a great deal from their cross-cultural adventure, and it was fascinating to read about her children's integration into school and social life in their new villages. I was only sorry to see them leave France in the end!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly entertaining. 9 April 2017
By Susan Keefe - Published on Amazon.com
What do you get when you get two parents with three children who just happen to have a deep rooted wanderlust? The answer is a thoroughly entertaining book!

And so we find ourselves travelling from Australia with Catherine, her husband, and three children to Annecy in the French Alps, where we, through their eyes discover how very different French life is from Australia, not only the language, but many other new things which make moving to a new country both exciting and terrifying.

Their move was an adventure, born of a love for France that Catherine had discovered whilst spending time there in her youth. Like most of us she wanted to give her children the experiences she enjoyed and so off they went to Annecy, where they rented a cottage initially, and the surrounding area where they settled.

Thanks to her vividly descriptive writing, straight away you are taken on a journey of discovery as through her eyes you explore the villages, mountains, lakes, and breath-taking scenery of one of the most beautiful regions of France. If you are fond of sports and the outdoor life then this book will have you yearning to holiday in this area, or perhaps move there…. I have to say that this story also takes the reader to many other parts of France including my locale the Loire Valley and even for a sojourn into Italy.

However, this book is not a travel guide, beautifully descriptive as it is, it is in some respects a life guide as we join this adventurous family as they settle down to life in a totally different country, millions of miles from the one which they used to called home. Not only do the children have to settle into school in another country, but the family also have to overcome the hurdles which can enter our everyday life wherever we live.
I found this story compelling reading, it is one of those books which you simply can’t put down, but know that when you get to the last page you will be sad it is finished. Being an expat myself, I found myself laughing at the simple faux pas it is so easy to make when one doesn’t understand the language, like a native (as they say), and like most sympathise with them as they come to terms with the interminable and of course infamous French bureaucracy.

I can highly recommend this as a really good light-hearted storybook to read with a French flavour, however I would also say that if you are planning to visit this area, you will find the wonderful descriptions of its villages, architecture, gastronomy and customs very interesting. This book is a real gem, it is all so very different in France as those of us who live here can testify, and the answer to everything official is, as the book title says, ‘But you are in France, Madame.’

I downloaded this book with my UK Kindle Unlimited subscription.