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My French Life

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A beautifully photographed romantic book about French style and culture?and making a new home in Provence In 1999, Vicki Archer, with her husband and three children, made a lifelong dream a reality when she bought a seventeenth-century property in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. She spent three years lovingly restoring the farmhouse, bringing back to life the abandoned apple and p A beautifully photographed romantic book about French style and culture?and making a new home in Provence In 1999, Vicki Archer, with her husband and three children, made a lifelong dream a reality when she bought a seventeenth-century property in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. She spent three years lovingly restoring the farmhouse, bringing back to life the abandoned apple and pear orchards, and planting an olive grove of more than two thousand trees. In My French Life, Vicki shares an insider?s view of life in France? from its landscapes, delicious food, and scents to its charming people. And she offers an intimate portrait of what it?s like to adopt a new home on the other side of the globe. It?s a personal tale of taking risks, facing challenges, and the joyous experience of falling in love with all things French. With lavish four-color photography that captures the essence of French style, My French Life is a book to cherish. It is the perfect gift for the holidays.


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A beautifully photographed romantic book about French style and culture?and making a new home in Provence In 1999, Vicki Archer, with her husband and three children, made a lifelong dream a reality when she bought a seventeenth-century property in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. She spent three years lovingly restoring the farmhouse, bringing back to life the abandoned apple and p A beautifully photographed romantic book about French style and culture?and making a new home in Provence In 1999, Vicki Archer, with her husband and three children, made a lifelong dream a reality when she bought a seventeenth-century property in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. She spent three years lovingly restoring the farmhouse, bringing back to life the abandoned apple and pear orchards, and planting an olive grove of more than two thousand trees. In My French Life, Vicki shares an insider?s view of life in France? from its landscapes, delicious food, and scents to its charming people. And she offers an intimate portrait of what it?s like to adopt a new home on the other side of the globe. It?s a personal tale of taking risks, facing challenges, and the joyous experience of falling in love with all things French. With lavish four-color photography that captures the essence of French style, My French Life is a book to cherish. It is the perfect gift for the holidays.

30 review for My French Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    Meh. They are rich, they bought 50 acres of a fixer-upper in France and a new home in London so they could be closer to it from their native Australia, though they still manage to fly there a few times a year. They hired a bunch of people to fix it up while they were away. She loves it and decorates it and then talks about some other things about France: the food, the fashion. But it just wasn't told in an interesting manner, in my opinion. The photos are pretty, but rather dull: the corner of t Meh. They are rich, they bought 50 acres of a fixer-upper in France and a new home in London so they could be closer to it from their native Australia, though they still manage to fly there a few times a year. They hired a bunch of people to fix it up while they were away. She loves it and decorates it and then talks about some other things about France: the food, the fashion. But it just wasn't told in an interesting manner, in my opinion. The photos are pretty, but rather dull: the corner of their bed (actually, two shots of the corner of their bed!), a pair of shoes next to the corner(!) of a footstool, a door handle, boots. Other things too, obviously, but such a strange selection of things to include. I would definitely suggest checking this out of the library and having a look-through like I did, before plunking down the steep price for this coffee-table book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Robson

    When I first picked up this book I thought I'd just look through the glorious pictures and be done with it. But it wasn't that easy. I would flick through the exquisite shots of the centuries old farmhouse the Archers renovated. I'd look at the pictures of the Apilles mountains, the restored garden and photographs of Paris and then somehow keep dipping in to the various chapters. After a while I realised this was more than just a coffee table book. The book demanded I give it some time as the au When I first picked up this book I thought I'd just look through the glorious pictures and be done with it. But it wasn't that easy. I would flick through the exquisite shots of the centuries old farmhouse the Archers renovated. I'd look at the pictures of the Apilles mountains, the restored garden and photographs of Paris and then somehow keep dipping in to the various chapters. After a while I realised this was more than just a coffee table book. The book demanded I give it some time as the author stresses at the end of the book "Making time and taking time is a pleasure to be enjoyed, not a nuisance to endure." Within the books chapters: Love at First Sight, The Farmhouse, The Craftsmen, The Women, The Scents, The Weekend, Lunch and Dinner, In the Country, French Style and lastly Colour, we learn how the author came to own a French farmhouse, how she began to renovate it with only rudimentary French and most important of all - how she came to embrace the French style of life. It is an incredible journey and I really admire all she has achieved. I'm envious too of course, of the wonderful house Mas de Berard the Archers have brought back to life and the amazing part of France that she now lives in part of the year - Saint-Remy-de-Provence. Archer is definitely an elegant and thoughtful writer and I particular admire the small phrases that accompany many of the photos. They give an insight into her life and what she has learned by living in France. Here are a few of my favourites: "In France I quickly learned that it is the things that are hidden behind closed doors that are the most remarkable." "In Valerie's world, if there is no time to enjoy coffee together, what is the point of drinking it alone? Coffee is about companionship not caffeine." "French women know that the time spent in the preparation of beauty is not to be undervalued." "The log fire warms our wind-chilled hands and feet as the red wine soothes our jangled nerves. Sitting around the table we relive every moment, telling tales, embellishing incidents and savouring the intense moments of the day. For once in France we have earned our lunch." Highly recommended.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ells

    Ms. Archer takes the reader on a trip to France. The journey starts off a little like "A Year in Provence"--Vicki and her husband buy an olive farm with dilapidated farm house whick over several years they create into a fabulous villa and working farm--but then Vicki takes us to Paris, and villages and shows us things seeped with the essence of French life. Yes, I am jealous of Vicki and her beautiful family and the wonderful Mas de Berard. But I am so glad that I went on the trip with her!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    Although Vicki Archer pens the words as she describes her family’s life in Provence and her visits to Paris, the sole reason for opening the book belongs to the photographer Carla Coulson. Her photographs of Provence and Paris and the people therein are an absolute visual delight!

  5. 5 out of 5

    christy

    i loved this book for the photos and tidbits about living in france. however it was a major eyeroller in the way the author assumes everyone has millions to plunk down on an old french chateau that needs a total overhaul.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brittany Harrington

    Beautiful pictures, beautiful story, and now my imagination is running wild and I want to buy an abandoned farmhouse in the French countryside.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Melissa

    Gorgeous photos are the best part! Found it hard to identify with this obviously super-rich family who owns a home in Provence, but it was nice to peek into their lifestyle.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emily S.

    This wasn't quite what I was hoping, but still, I really enjoyed the pictures. Those made up for the lackluster writing.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    This was the perfect book to read over an evening when Mother Nature was dumping 6 inches of snow on April 22, fer pete's sake! Yes, I do want to move to Provence, why do you ask?? Ms Archer certainly had luck and, I suspect, fortune on her side in her decision to eventually move full-time to Provence. First she and her family moved from their home in Australia to a residence in London, but eventually - after the children finished school - they moved to 50 acres near Saint-Remy-de-Provence. Durin This was the perfect book to read over an evening when Mother Nature was dumping 6 inches of snow on April 22, fer pete's sake! Yes, I do want to move to Provence, why do you ask?? Ms Archer certainly had luck and, I suspect, fortune on her side in her decision to eventually move full-time to Provence. First she and her family moved from their home in Australia to a residence in London, but eventually - after the children finished school - they moved to 50 acres near Saint-Remy-de-Provence. During the delay, a full rebuild/renovation was made of the ancient farmhouse with its attached barn and an olive grove was planted. It's a lovely story and I wish it were mine! Well, not exactly. But she tells it beautifully and fully communicates her love for France and all things French. Gorgeous photographs by Carla Coulson transmit the beauty and style of Archer's France. I found the book as a result of reading Vicki Archer's blog "French Essence". Neither it, nor this book, is a heavy lift of Great Literature. Nonetheless, both have been worth the time I have spent with them.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book about Ms. Archer's life in France, surrounded by lavender, mountains and olive groves. Makes me wish I could just drop in and visit. Or live there! Absolutely gorgeous photos throughout the entire book. I'm glad I didn't read the negative reviews before reading. Yes, I thought it a tad pretentious but still really liked reading about her experiences and her life. I would have loved reading more about her children and husband David too though. She is a good writer and m I thoroughly enjoyed this book about Ms. Archer's life in France, surrounded by lavender, mountains and olive groves. Makes me wish I could just drop in and visit. Or live there! Absolutely gorgeous photos throughout the entire book. I'm glad I didn't read the negative reviews before reading. Yes, I thought it a tad pretentious but still really liked reading about her experiences and her life. I would have loved reading more about her children and husband David too though. She is a good writer and makes me really see and smell the French countryside!

  11. 5 out of 5

    B

    "In 1999 Vicki Archer, with her husband and three children, made a lifelong dream a reality when she bought a seventeenth-century property in Saint-Remy-de-Provence. She shares an insider view of life in France, telling her personal tale of taking risks, facing challenges, and falling in love with all things French". A enjoyable memoir. The telling of her story is interspersed with beautiful photographs, and has the feel of a lovely scrapbook.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    This is an engaging book about an Australian family that decides to relocate and split their time between London and a farmhouse they renovated in the south of France. The short chapters describing different activities evoke the sense of France, including both the south and Paris. Each chapter is accompanied by excellent photos that establish and enhance the mood. A delicious book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    So lovely, reminds me of my time in the south of France, and the photographs are beautiful. I want to be this author when I grow up, and split my time between real life in some bustling city (London in her case) and entertaining family and friends from all over the world at my amazing Provencal estate complete with view of the mountains, olive groves, lavender fields...c'est la vie

  14. 4 out of 5

    Aileen

    This is a beautiful book. It's not a novel but rather a passionate description of ones love for a home. It takes you through the restoration of a 400 yr old home and explains how this changes one family.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

    It took me forever to get through this book - I liked the glimpse into French life, but rather than a dreamy, lovely quality, I felt that the writing was a bit hoity-toity. I was unable to relate to the author and her lavish lifestyle, but I did enjoy the photos.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mary Schaenzer Berls

    A light autobiographical read of a family in London who pursues their life dream and buys a seventeenth century property in Saint-Remy-de-Provence. A glossy glimpse into French life and all things French.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    The photographs in this book are wonderful; they range from still lifes of the interior of her house to French women to beautiful flower arrangements. I enjoyed reading about her adventures in learning about the French, and appreciating their way of life.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Beautiful photography by Carla Coulson -- a coffee table escape to Paris and Provence. Vicki Archer seems to live the perfect life, shuttling between London, her French country home, and the flats of her Parisian friends. Fantasy Sarah wants to live Vicki's life. Sigh.

  19. 4 out of 5

    September Dee

    Beautiful photos! The account of living in France? We heard it all before through similar books. Still nicely written, the photos give us a much better feel for the place than the writing. Of course, we who are not so adventurous, nor so monied, can live vicariously through the lives of others.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laura Lewakowski

    I loved this book! It's my kind of "feel good" book. So many pretty pictures. Yes the author has the financial means to create this wonderful life, but I can dream can't I? My French fantasy life has come true through Vicki Archer!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jelenie

    so excited!! after a million hints - i got this book for christmas!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sally

    I am still reading this book, but I love the cover because it looks exactly like Brian and Phuong's street. Very cool.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tama

    Three stars for the author because I'm so damned jealous and four stars for the outstanding photography...

  24. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    Gorgeously photographed, beautifully scripted, an elegant read. I kept asking myself, who lives like this? How can I live like this? A lovely glimpse into a magical and French way of life.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mardi

    Such a fun book, lovely photos....if you love France, you'll love this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Phuong

    Loved the pictures in the book. They were gorgeous! Fast and easy read. Interesting to see how the really rich live!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    The photographs inside this book are amazing. I want to live inside this book--be these people. Until I too can run away to Provence I will turn these pages and nod off to dream land.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    The stories are tolerable- though more take it or leave it- but the photography is wonderful. Five stars for the photos alone.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Patti Friday

    I adore this book. It was sent to me as a gift from the author. (signed too!)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    best coffee table book I've ever seen . . . if you like France and all.

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