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Anywhere but Bordeaux!: Adventures of an American Teacher in France

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Jacqueline Donnelly recounts with humor her ex-pat life teaching English in a middle school in Bordeaux, France. Hoping to escape her predictable American life in the States, she runs away in search of adventure and self-discovery.The story reveals daily life in France, and the encounters with wonderful and not so wonderful characters along the way.It is perfect reading fo Jacqueline Donnelly recounts with humor her ex-pat life teaching English in a middle school in Bordeaux, France. Hoping to escape her predictable American life in the States, she runs away in search of adventure and self-discovery.The story reveals daily life in France, and the encounters with wonderful and not so wonderful characters along the way.It is perfect reading for anyone tempted to run away and ideal for a book club.


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Jacqueline Donnelly recounts with humor her ex-pat life teaching English in a middle school in Bordeaux, France. Hoping to escape her predictable American life in the States, she runs away in search of adventure and self-discovery.The story reveals daily life in France, and the encounters with wonderful and not so wonderful characters along the way.It is perfect reading fo Jacqueline Donnelly recounts with humor her ex-pat life teaching English in a middle school in Bordeaux, France. Hoping to escape her predictable American life in the States, she runs away in search of adventure and self-discovery.The story reveals daily life in France, and the encounters with wonderful and not so wonderful characters along the way.It is perfect reading for anyone tempted to run away and ideal for a book club.

30 review for Anywhere but Bordeaux!: Adventures of an American Teacher in France

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sue DenHerder

    Fun quick read by a local author. Maybe I enjoyed it because I was a middle school teacher and could relate to the student antics. This book moves right along.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    Cliffhanger ending! I want to know what happened with Monique! But this book was delightful read! As a teacher who would love to live in France, it was perfect for me. If there was ever a book more tailored to me, I haven't found it. I have been in a bit of a slump lately, even with reading, and the fact of there being no end in sight to the ban on international travel has just had me feeling really down. This book was the perfect remedy. I may not be able to travel for recreational purposes soon Cliffhanger ending! I want to know what happened with Monique! But this book was delightful read! As a teacher who would love to live in France, it was perfect for me. If there was ever a book more tailored to me, I haven't found it. I have been in a bit of a slump lately, even with reading, and the fact of there being no end in sight to the ban on international travel has just had me feeling really down. This book was the perfect remedy. I may not be able to travel for recreational purposes soon but this book reminded me of all the wonderful opportunities out there for forging my own way and figuring out how to make long-term travel not just possible, but integral to my life and career plan. Anywhere But Bordeaux is the travel memoir of Jacqueline Donnelly who participates in a teacher exchange program. She teaches French in the US and has travelled to France many times, but she and her husband decide to take the plunge and spend an entire year working and travelling around France. She applies and is accepted to a teacher exchange program and trades positions and houses with a woman named Monique and her family. Donnelly is an awesome story teller. The book is so funny but also has elements of drama and suspense. I was most disappointed by the cliffhanger ending because I wanted to hear more about Monique! Monique and her family, at least in Donnelly's retelling, are eccentric and strange and the details of their relationship over such a vast distance had me laughing and groaning throughout the entire book. Donnelly did an amazing job of describing the highs and lows of her experiences teaching in France and it is obvious that she is a veteran teacher for how dedicated she was to seeing it through to the end of the year. Donnelly has to deal with working through a teacher's strike, a change in the school administration, and students who have no interest in learning her stilted American English after being taught British English throughout their education, not to mention a hurricane that resulted in a loss of power for weeks! The title is based on the fact that Donnelly and her husband have visited France many times and the one place they could find nothing charming about was Bordeaux, so naturally that was exactly the region the exchange program landed them in. It was fast-paced and charming and I tore through it in a day. As a teacher who would love to spend a year or more in France, it was exactly what I needed to come across right now. And free on Kindle Unlimited!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laura Sheperd

    A WONDERFUL READ! I chose the rating of 5 stars only because 6 or 7 were not available! What a well written and enjoyable book!! As a former grade school teacher's aid and trainer of adult state workers (some of whom had no desire to learn their jobs) I can relate to some of her challenges as a teacher. And as a writer, both formerly and currently, I must always be careful not to over analyze and judge the writing of others while I read. I was never tempted to do this while reading this book beca A WONDERFUL READ! I chose the rating of 5 stars only because 6 or 7 were not available! What a well written and enjoyable book!! As a former grade school teacher's aid and trainer of adult state workers (some of whom had no desire to learn their jobs) I can relate to some of her challenges as a teacher. And as a writer, both formerly and currently, I must always be careful not to over analyze and judge the writing of others while I read. I was never tempted to do this while reading this book because it is so well written!

  4. 5 out of 5

    John G

    What happens when you make your dream teacher exchange job come true? This delightful story takes you along with the author as she recounts her year abroad. You feel with her the beauty and delights of Bordeaux, and the difficulties of cultural change, the challenges of bonding with new students and faculty, and the drama that ensues as her relationship with her exchange counterpart back in America deteriorates. This tension provided much of the interest for me through the book. This is an engagi What happens when you make your dream teacher exchange job come true? This delightful story takes you along with the author as she recounts her year abroad. You feel with her the beauty and delights of Bordeaux, and the difficulties of cultural change, the challenges of bonding with new students and faculty, and the drama that ensues as her relationship with her exchange counterpart back in America deteriorates. This tension provided much of the interest for me through the book. This is an engaging real life story, told in a style that allows you to feel the authors emotions as she rides the roller coaster year.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gail Nouri

    Poignant memoir I almost put this book back at the beginning but what a mistake that would have been! This enjoyable story was difficult to put down. My love of France was rekindled as the author introduced me to her neighbors and co-workers in Bordeaux. Her trials and successes were humbly and lovingly told as were her final days of the teaching year that brought touching revelations.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Really good book! I was pleasantly surprised because I couldn't tell if this was a privately published book or not and those are often rife with grammar and spelling errors. This book was really well-written and the story moved along. I found the author to be sympathetic and open to her experience. I wonder if she kept in touch with any of the kids, two in particular. And I was scared of Monique myself! Really good book! I was pleasantly surprised because I couldn't tell if this was a privately published book or not and those are often rife with grammar and spelling errors. This book was really well-written and the story moved along. I found the author to be sympathetic and open to her experience. I wonder if she kept in touch with any of the kids, two in particular. And I was scared of Monique myself!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Margot Steinhart

    "I really enjoyed this memoir. A great read. Donnelly's breezy, flowing style, replete with humorous observations and detailed, picturesque descriptions of landscapes, people, food, and history, create a fast-moving pace to sustain the reader's interest and a desire to know how the author will overcome unexpected challenges." "I really enjoyed this memoir. A great read. Donnelly's breezy, flowing style, replete with humorous observations and detailed, picturesque descriptions of landscapes, people, food, and history, create a fast-moving pace to sustain the reader's interest and a desire to know how the author will overcome unexpected challenges."

  8. 4 out of 5

    Vadonna Berry

    "Anywhere But Bordeaux" is a fun read for either teachers or francophiles, and if you're both--this is a good choice. An American teacher was part of the International Teacher Exchange program where she ended up teaching in Bordeaux at a Middle School; the school year was full of challenges, but she and her family had many adventures too. "Anywhere But Bordeaux" is a fun read for either teachers or francophiles, and if you're both--this is a good choice. An American teacher was part of the International Teacher Exchange program where she ended up teaching in Bordeaux at a Middle School; the school year was full of challenges, but she and her family had many adventures too.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Randal White

    Captivating! I really enjoyed this book. An easy read, I found myself eagerly looking forward to what would happen next in the author’s adventure. She didn’t disappoint, openly telling the good and the bad. I’m happy that it all worked out for her in the end. I really, really would like to read an update on her nemesis, Monique. Bravo!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Graff

    A True Story of an American Exchange Teacher in France As a teacher who had always wanted to teach in France, this book was like a story of what it might have been like for me. She was a bit wimpier than I think I would have been, but then I have had more experience in more grades than she had. She did well socially.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gail

    Different This book tells the story of an American high school teacher who spends a year as an exchange teacher to a middle school in France teaching English. I enjoyed this book but was surprised by her French administrators lack of support of her I would recommend this as a enjoyable book to read

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Teaching abroad is Hard As a former teacher myself, I could truly relate to the situation Jackie found herself trust into who would imagine that the teacher exchange program would allow such a is at h! It made for excellent reading thanks to the bravery and professionalism of the author. Well done! Thank you for sharing your experiences and insights with your readers!

  13. 5 out of 5

    W Scott

    I was very disappointed by the book. Her attitude toward her year teaching in France was 90% negative. She complained through the entire ordeal. I almost quit the book twice. Really don’t waste your time.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Carol Rode

    Good book I enjoyed this book. The dealing with problem kids and yet she won them over. To move to a different country to work is hard enough but in the end , she ends up loving it and made the kids realize how well they did learn.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marilynn Tammi

    Jacqueline tells her story with a great sense of humor and paces her book very well. I found it a page turner!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Leanne

    Quick, easy read. The author had an interesting experience well worth reading about, but if you are looking for a successful expat story this isn't it. Quick, easy read. The author had an interesting experience well worth reading about, but if you are looking for a successful expat story this isn't it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Rittenhouse George

    Excellent tale As a former teacher I enjoyed the tales written here. And the honesty of her strengths and weaknesses. Good read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Sargent

    Marvelously engaging This is a book for anyone who has ever taught, or ever dreamed of living and working in France. Warts and all.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Serban Matei

    A quick and genuine description of a pretty unique experience. The cultural differences are nicely and wisely examined.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    Dream realized I chose this book because I have also dreamt of moving to France to teach on an exchange program. I teach French in the states and I'm so in love with all that is French and france. It was great to learn about someone else's experience and to know that all schools have their problems. Dream realized I chose this book because I have also dreamt of moving to France to teach on an exchange program. I teach French in the states and I'm so in love with all that is French and france. It was great to learn about someone else's experience and to know that all schools have their problems.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sharron Robison

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lynette Robb

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joan Lehmann

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jane

  25. 4 out of 5

    James Jarrett

  26. 4 out of 5

    Janabelle

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Chiaramonte

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kari

  29. 5 out of 5

    PRPHL

  30. 4 out of 5

    Denise Martin

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