The French House by Don Wallace

The French HouseDon Wallace’s The French House: An American Family, a Ruined Maison, and the Village That Restored Them All is engaging and well-written and will make even non-Francophiles yearn for a trip to France.

This memoir tells the tale of Wallace and his wife Mindy’s purchase and renovation of a house on a small French island. Like many an expat tale, it includes stories of difficulties in construction (including cash flow!) and unique neighbors, but it’s far from cliché thanks to Wallace’s writing. You’ll find yourself rooting for the couple as they scrap and save and persevere, transforming their ruin into a lovely home — over the course of decades.

This book charmed me from the opening chapter, written as if the reader is a guest arriving to stay in the French house. Wallace’s prose is open and conversational, and his storytelling is superb.

At its core, The French House is a story of wanting something so badly that no logic or reason can dare stand in the way; whether you’ve experienced this yourself or wish to do so someday, you will find inspiration as well as some laughs within its pages. The beautifully composed descriptions of the French landscape and lifestyle are added bonuses.

I just loved it and recommend it to anyone who likes memoirs, expat tales, being transported to faraway lands through words, property renovation stories, or simply good, solid writing.

5 espresso cups out of 5!

** NOTE: I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley; the opinions expressed are my own. The links in the post above are affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

20 Beans of Wisdom to “The French House by Don Wallace”
  1. 06.11.2014

    I enjoy memoirs very much, and I think this might be a good one. It should be nice to read a memoir with a positive slant.

  2. Virginia

    I love this type of book. Can’t wait to read it and hope I win your giveaway.

  3. Jane Yasenchak

    I enjoy stories of others’ lives in Europe. I’ve been living here since 2001 and the european way of life has its charms and its obstacles! I’d love to read about their adventure!

  4. 06.11.2014

    I ALWAYS judge books by their covers and I can tell just by looking that I will relish reading this one.

  5. 06.11.2014

    Love this genre. Always interesting to read about others taking the plunge into a new milieu.

  6. Margaret W.

    Really looking forward to reading this! I have always dreamed of living in another country!

  7. judith works

    Looks like a delightful read.

  8. 06.11.2014

    Sounds like a great book! Would love it!

  9. 06.11.2014

    I just shared this on FB and Twitter too!

  10. bonnie melielo

    Have no interest in visiting France BUT I totally trust your book reviews so I will have to read this one! 🙂

  11. Melly

    I live vicariously & travel the world by reading books similar to The French House~ my cup of tea!:)

  12. 06.15.2014

    Love this and would really love to have it in my food files

  13. Kori Lee

    Love to read all books about Italy or France! Looking forward to this read. I shared on FB

  14. Laura Collins

    This sounds like a lovely read. This year all of my trips will be taken from the arm chair and I’d love to take this journey to France.

  15. Margaret W.

    Can ‘t wait to read this and dream again of living in Europe!

  16. 06.17.2014

    how wonderful to find ‘everything’ in a restored house …………….perhaps my next place in italy shall give me such a return

  17. 06.17.2014

    This sounds like a book I would really enjoy! I’m sharing on Facebook too, so my friends can have a chance at it.

  18. Holly Schwartz

    Sounds like a wonderful book! Thank you for the opportunity to win.

    All the best,

    Holly in Kentucky

  19. Jill E.

    FUN! I can see myself kicking back with this, a glass of wine by my side. Would love to win this!

  20. Tabitha Langley

    If I were to write about my experience living abroad, I’m not sure it would sound as inviting and intriguing as this book.



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