The French House

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 1, 2014

"On a tiny French island, a couple of American dreamers redefine their lives by restoring a ruin...The French House moves to a soulful, very funny rhythm all its own."-Meryl Streep

Don and Mindy Wallace have always been Francophiles, so when they had the opportunity to buy a home on a small French island off the coast of Brittany, they jumped-sight unseen-into a crumbling mess that challenged their finances and their family.

But when the Wallaces arrived on the island they found a building in ruin, and it wasn't long before their lives resembled it. Plagued by emergency repairs, a stock market crash, and very exasperated French neighbors, Don and Mindy could have accepted their fate. Instead, they embraced it.

Redolent with the beauty and flavors of French country life, The French House is a lively, inspiring, and irresistibly charming memoir. Fans of Under the Tuscan Sun (Frances Mayes), Paris in Love (Eloisa James), and A Year in Provence (Peter Mayle) will be enchanted by this account 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. What readers are saying about The French House

"The French House is engaging and well-written and will make even non-Francophiles yearn for a trip to France."

"With hauntingly beautiful descriptions of a tiny French island and its inhabitants, this book will take you to a different place, and might even inspire you to reconsider your life and finally follow your dreams where you and your family can become whole."

..".charming and witty -- full of hope and despair about this crumbling structure they chose to inhabit and make a home."

"I was captivated from the outset and felt like I was on their island living it all with them. A great read " What reviewers are saying about The French House

"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

"Village life vignettes, the sensual celebration of island pleasures, eccentric neighbors, cuisine, beach life, natural history-readers will find a smattering of all that in these pages, but it's the story below, like the unshakeable foundations of the house itself, that makes this such a satisfying read."-Rain Taxi Review

"The French House is a darling book that mixes local history, memoir, quirky characters, architectural challenges (what will the village elders do if they add windows to the second floor?) and humor...It was a lovely adventure and perfect for a summer read."-Under a Gray Sky

"The French House is a detailed, delightful memoir of their journey to restore a dilapidated abode into a beckoning sanctuary in an idyllic coast French countryside.. I have thoroughly been devouring it, and I think you will too."-The Simply Luxurious Life

"Author Don Wallace shares the heartwarming story about his family's 30-year journey to restore a ruined cottage on the tiny French island of Belle Ile off the coast of Brittany... readers are privy to the charming true story of a family's journey to create the perfect home away from home."--E News.

About the Author
Don Wallace is an award-winning journalist, novelist, and editor who has written for "Harper's, The New York Times, " and dozens of other publications. His honors include being named the U.S. Naval Institute's 2002 Author of the Year for his serialized novel, "The Log of Matthew Roving"; a Roll of Honor selection of the 1998 Best American Essays for ""While Watts Burned";" and a Michener Prize from the Copernicus Society for his 1991 novel, "Hot Water." Wallace attended the Iowa Writers Workshop, U.C. Santa Cruz, and Poly High School, where he was the third generation of Wallaces to play varsity football. He lives in New York City with his wife and son.