July 25, 2016

Book Review: Tout Sweet: Hanging up My Heels for A New Life in Rural France by Karen Wheeler

In her mid-thirties, fashion editor Karen has it all: a handsome boyfriend, a fab flat in west London, and an array of gorgeous shoes. But when her boyfriend, Eric, leaves she makes an unexpected decision: to hang up her Manolos and wave good-bye to her glamorous city lifestyle to go it alone in a run-down house in rural Poitou-Charentes, central western France.

Tout Sweet is the perfect read for anyone who dreams of chucking away their BlackBerry in favor of real blackberrying and downshifting to a romantic, alluring locale where new friendships–and new loves–are just some of the treasures to be found amongst life's simple pleasures.

Tout Sweet started out auspiciously enough, with a dramatic night spent in Caen – one of those crossroads-type scenes – where the author is leaving one life and starting out another. The end of the chapter had me laughing, appreciating the author’s healthy sense of humor about her misadventure.  Once she did arrive in the French countryside village, however, the narrative seemed to focus too much on her love life/search for a man and less about exploring every intriguing aspect of life in France.  Plus most the people she writes about were British ex-patriates like her, not so much the French.  As I did enjoy reading this fluffy confection on my plane trip to Paris, I will say it is an adequate memoir to pass the time, but not anything too memorable or deep.

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