Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Book 28: I'll Never Be French (No Matter What I Do)

This is a nice little memoir by an author you probably don't know, Mark Greenside. Mark Greenside went to Brittany for a summer in 1991, for a woman. The relationship did not survive the summer, but happily, we are not subjected to the details of that. His neighbor, Mme. P, convinced him to buy a house and so Greenside made a long term, legally binding commitment to Brittany-- the End of the Earth, or the Beginning, depending on whether you ask in French or in Breton. This is American BoHo version of A Year in Provence. Better than the PoMo version would be, I'd wager. Where Mayle had endless pages of food and wine and olive oil, Mark Greenside is more about navigating relationships with his new neighbors. Where Mayle's book was all head, Greenside balances the head with the heart. It is not confessional in tone, there is no awkward oversharing. You have me for that.

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