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A Book Review of Expat Living in Rural France

Updated on May 31, 2015

Living in The South of France - A Series of Funny Short Stories

If you are an expat, have aspirations to become an expat or would simply like a little nosey into the world of expat living. Then you are highly likely to enjoy this series of short stories about the shenanigans of the local Brits abroad in a quiet town in the Languedoc Roussillon region of the South of France.

The printed book is called the 'Happy Hooker, Expat Intrigue, Living with the Enemy in Deepest France'.

A fabulous title that gives you completely the wrong impression, because what the book is actually based on is an ex- French rugby player, yes a hooker, who has retired from the game and now occupies his time running a little bar in the fictitious town of Castelverdun and is trying to improve his English by communicating via email with a famous cartoonist.

The fact that the original book is a series of short stories, has allowed the author, Jonathan Veale, to present his book in two bite sized chunks in Amazon Kindle format as well as the original printed version. Great if you fancy a look at the first in the series before you go on to buy the second in the series, which I have no doubt you will do.

Series One is called 'Expat Living in Rural France - Still Life in the Old Dogs

Series Two is called 'Expat Living in Rural France - Still Barking'.

To find out more about me visit my Google page at Brian Stephens

What Expat Living in Rural France Offers

A Reader's Review

Jonathan has an eye for spotting a character and you have no doubt as you read his array of short stories that the characters and their antics are based on real life personalities that have crossed his path during his time spent living in and frequenting the local drinking houses in little French villages.

Of course France being France, a drinking house is not just for the alcoholic variety, you are just as likely to discover a punter sampling a strong cup of espresso or a large café crème rather than a Vin Rouge or Pastis. Typical of the Brits, however, there will be a contingent that rather enjoy the economy of drinking alcohol in France and as a result may be inclined to slightly overindulge in whatever is available.

You get the feeling from the stories that the plot is bang up to date with vivid descriptions of the mix of, sometimes, decrepit buildings mixed with the shiny new renovations, that the Brits are mostly responsible for, all set against a background of old French boys playing pétanque under the Plane trees.

You may feel the longer that you live in France that the more you might blend in an become inconspicuous, but not on your life. As soon as you step outside your door and wander down the street you will stand out as not French. Anyone that has lived in France will know that they are instantly recognizable as not being of French origin, whether they have made an attempt at communication or simply kept their mouths tightly shut, hoping to pass off as a native. These are the types of observations that the author has made and shared with the reader, you can't help but recognise the honesty in his declarations and immediately empathise with the point being made. That's what makes it funny, just like a good comedian he draws on truth because truth is much more amusing than a made up joke fictitious in nature.

He discusses how the new expats get fleeced by the locals during their introductory period; until they start to wise up and catch on that is. How the locals and expats work together to keep out the undesirables. The undesirables being of course overbearing new expats that have aspirations to join a community where everyone knows everyone else's business, especially if you happen to be a foreigner on French territory

There are visits to some of the wonderful places of interest, stories of how to avoid the taxman, at your peril I would add, but amusing all the same, and how to protect your wood from over interested passers by. Something said to be sacrilege in France is the taking of another person's source of warmth, but somehow you know that it is the sort of thing that happens all the time if you become blasé about protecting what is yours. So if one of your trees does fall over in a public place for example, you had better get it shifted quickly before someone helps you out in a way you didn't want them to.

Well hopefully this has given you a little bit of an insight into French life and also you now know where you can get a bit more detail, I very much enjoyed this book and I hope you do to.

How to Write a Book or Novel - An Insider's Guide to Getting Published [Kindle Edition]

Learn the essential art of self editing, when and when not to use an independent editor and how to complete your book once it has been started. There is more than one option or route to becoming a published author and they are all discussed in this easy to follow guide to book writing.

How to Write a Book or Novel: An Insider’s Guide to Getting Published
How to Write a Book or Novel: An Insider’s Guide to Getting Published

It's not often you get an insight into book writing and publishing from a professional editor and author. But now you can, Jonathan Veale's main mission in life is to help aspiring authors avoid the pitfalls of the publishing jungle and help authors get their books published and promoted without falling foul of the vanity publishers.

 

French History Books - The Lauragais Story

A fascinating insight into the complete history of the Lauragais region in the South of France, from Toulouse to Castelnaudary. Includes the Cathar persecution by Simon De Montfort, the German occupation and much much more. There was a lot of action in the Lauragais over many centuries and if you ever visit this region, this book will really inform you of its past, where money was made and how lives were lost.

Jewels of French History Books: The Lauragais Story from the South of France
Jewels of French History Books: The Lauragais Story from the South of France

Living so close to Castelnaudary, the capital of the Lauragais, this French history book really grabbed my attention. A chance to find out about and understand the history of the region, admittedly in English, where we live. It really is a chequered history, the region has had more than it's fair share of heartache and misery, but has risen to be one of the most important parts of France. Toulouse is the centre of aerospace and the home of Airbus, but in days gone by it was wheat and wode that were the main generators of wealth in the region and where the funding for many chateaus was found.

 

A Carcassonne Affair - A Contemporary Thriller

Writing a fictitious novel shouldn't be a hazardous occupation, but for Mark Brayfield that's exactly what it seemed to be. Off to the South of France to start a new life near the beautiful city of Carcassonne, he was unaware of the fact there were some bad people following him there. There sole intention being to prevent his new book ever reaching print.

The Carcassonne Affair - a fast-paced contemporary thriller laced with intrigue and humour
The Carcassonne Affair - a fast-paced contemporary thriller laced with intrigue and humour

Jonathan Veale's latest novel. Done with humour and set in the South of France where many expats live and tourists visit.

 

Jersey's Secret Assassin - Another great choice for expats living in Cyprus or the Island of Jersey

Assassins stalking political leaders in an attempt to spark World War 3, corrupt policemen and innocent bystanders murdered because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Good book, especially as a debut offering from a first time author.

Jersey's Secret Assassin
Jersey's Secret Assassin

A fast moving suspense thriller which, if you are like me, you will not be able to put down. I read it in one day, what more is there to say.

 

Jersey's Secret Assassins

I love printed books but the eReader is very covenient

Has the printed book had it's day and are eReaders the medium of the future

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A Few More Books You Might Like... - All in Amazon Kindle Format

You don't necessarily need a Kindle to read a book in Kindle format, you can grab a Free Kindle App via this link for your own eReader.

But just in case you would like a Kindle there is one on the bottom of the list.

An Expat Story with a Difference - Talking Dancing Cats from Tuscany

Laura Graham is an expat living in Italy and she has recently published two books out of a series of three detailing the antics of two rescued cats that learn to speak both English and Italian. A childrens stories in the making but with a universal appeal to all cat lovers.

A Tale of Two Tuscan Cats
A Tale of Two Tuscan Cats

Enchanting tales for all cat lovers especially those that have adopted cats abroad.

Laura is living the life of an expat and has has turned her love of cats into lovely stories every cat lover will find enchanting. Living in Tuscany these cats have been brought to life with through the imagination of a real cat lover. She allows them to speak to humans, dance and paint, yes children will love these books but I suspect the parents will too.

 

Let us know what you think of Expat Living in Rural France

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    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 

      5 years ago from France

      I'm an expat living in the heart of rural France too. I run a B&B and gite in Limousin, so I love to hear the experience of others who have taken the plunge for a better life. I'm definitely going to come back to this one a few more times. (When is your book coming out, Brian?)

    • JoyfulReviewer profile image

      JoyfulReviewer 

      6 years ago

      I haven't read "Expat Living in Rural France", but your review makes it sound like a pretty good read.

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