This is Elizabeth Bard’s second book, detailing her continued adventures as an Americaine married to a Frenchman. The book begins with Elizabeth and Gwendal still living in Paris and starting a family. Gwendal’s business, ushering in the digital age in European cinema, is successful and stressful. He works long hours and feels more removed from the love of film that led him to the work in the first place. Elizabeth is dealing with residual success of her first book, Lunch in Paris, and is up against the deadline for her second. They take a vacation in Provence, in the tiny village called Cereste. One of Gwendals favorite poets, the French Resistance fighter Rene Char spent some time in the village and by chance they learn that the house where he stayed is for sale. Throwing caution to the wind, the decide to buy the place and relocate.
She tells charming stories of village life and raising a young son. A native New Yorker, she still has some things to learn about politesse and slowing down to the pace of small town life, but it comes easier than she ever expected. Gwendal works from home but is unsatified and soon they come up with a new plan, another “crazy idea” as her mother would say. They are going to open an artisanal ice cream shop, Scaramouche.
I really enjoy her writing style and way the book is laid out. Each chapter has a few recipes at the end that tie into the stories she’s telling, whether it’s baking with her son to strengthen their bond or going truffle hunting or picking crocus to harvest saffron. I tried a couple of recipes from her last book and plan to give a couple form this one a go this weekend. Bon apetit!