French Leave is a wonderfully witty and insightful tale of best-selling women’s fiction author Liz Ryan’s decade spent living in Normandy: will she stay or go after ten years? Find out in this memoir, reminiscent of A Year in Provence and Driving Over Lemons.
Nearly all of us dream of getting away, leaving it all behind and maybe even more so these days when the news seems to be so hard. For many of us the dream destination is la belle France; we love the food, we can muddle through with Leaving Certificate French, we holidayed in Brittany and Languedoc — we watched Keith Floyd gently winding (and drinking) his way down the Canal Du Midi. That said, very few of us take the plunge and pack it all up into the car and board the ferry at Rosslare with a one-way ticket.
In 2001, journalist and best-selling women’s fiction writer Liz Ryan did make the big move and settled in Normandy. Her funny and informative book charts her gradual immersion into French village life, the setbacks and the pleasures – as well as explaining the often paradoxical French attitudes to food and dieting, sport, shopping on the grand scale and their attitude to their Anglophone residents. The book culminates with Liz posing the question to readers as to whether she should stay or go? Or should that be rester ou partir?