The French House
An American Family, a Ruined Maison, and the Village That Restored Them All
By Don Wallace
(Sourcebooks, Paperback, 9781402293313, 325pp.)
Publication Date: June 2014
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"On a tiny French island, a couple of American dreamers redefine their lives by restoring a ruin--which in this lovely, shimmering story becomes a parable of a saner, greener, more sustainable path that we all can follow if we will but listen to the wisdom of the villagers the way the Wallaces did. The French House moves to a soulful, very funny rhythm all its own."--Meryl Streep
"A brave, insightful, and very amusing memoir about a fantasy that many of us have had but not dared to attempt."--Jane Smiley
When life hands you lemons, make citron presse.
Shortly after Don and Mindy Wallace move to Manhattan to jump-start their writing careers, they learn of a house for sale in a village they once visited on a tiny French island off the Brittany coast. Desperate for a life change, the Wallaces bravely (and impulsively) buy it almost sight unseen.
What they find when they arrive is a ruin, and it isn't long before their lives begin to resemble it--with hilarious and heartwarming results.
Redolent with the beauty and flavors of French country life, The French House is a lively, inspiring, and irresistibly charming memoir of a family that rises from the rubble, wins the hearts of a historic village, and finally finds the home they've been seeking off the wild coast of France.
"Don Wallace has crafted a delicious French bonbon of a book...full of humor, hope, and lessons on how to live a life full of meaning."--Dani Shapiro, bestselling author of Devotion and Still Writing
"The French House isn't a memoir. It's a vacation. Charming, gorgeous, perceptive, it is peppered with unforgettable characters and steeped in the deep red wine of long-term friendship, showing us how a remarkable place can make a life worth living."--Jennie Fields, author of The Age of Desire