If you don’t appreciate French memoirs, you can honestly discount all of my book reviews. Upon consideration of the books I would want to discuss, the titles were unanimously Parisian tales – or, in this case, Provencal.
Picnic in Provence is the sequel to Elizabeth Bard’s Lunch in Paris – both memoirs on life and love, artfully connected with food and recipes. Since Picnic in Provence was more recently released in April 2015, I figured I would talk about that one first. Despite the fact that its a sequel. It makes sense in my head!
Elizabeth and her husband, Gwendal, leave their Parisian life for a historic home in the French countryside. They start a little family when Elizabeth gives birth to her son, Alexandre. Then, a New Yorker mother and Paris father navigate new family life in the middle of absolutely no where. They buy a house, start a business, and pick cherries.
I love French memoirs so much. They are 86% of my regular reading, and I worry that I am running out of content. Picnic in Provence is a beautiful painting of Provencal life – the market, the truffle hunters, the dinner parties, and the medieval stone floors that are always freezing cold.
My favorite part of this book, which differs it from the many other French memoirs, was Elizabeth’s insights into French motherhood. French women are obviously always gorgeous and lovely, even a week after giving birth. Is it their healthcare system? They state-run childcare? Their je-ne-se-quoi? It reminded me of an amazing series on A Cup of Jo called Motherhood Around the World, which is so fabulous and interesting.