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When Patricia Feinberg Stoner and husband, Patrick, fell in love with a small brown-and-white spaniel, while holidaying at their home in France, little did they envisage the impact it would have on their lives. They spent the next few years living in Morbignan la Crèbe, a small village in Languedoc, encountering all kinds of people, having adventures and dealing with the idiosyncrasies of being expats in France. In Tales from the Pay d’Oc (the follow-up to the award-winning At Home from the Pay d’Oc), Stoner entertains us with reminiscences from that time.

Comprising twenty-one short stories, the book is a gentle introduction to the lives, loves and eccentricities of the people who reside, holiday and visit this charming southern French destination, passing time over a pre-supper apéro on the terrace of L’Estaminet or gathering to gossip at one of the local cafés.

In a series of what are essentially sketches, Stoner evokes the sights, smells and joys of everyday living in this beautiful place, introducing us to the local characters and their pets (who share equal billing) with affection, humour and a deft hand. A lovely volume, Tales from the Pay d’Oc is the perfect holiday or armchair tourist read.

 

 

Tales from the Pay d’Oc | Patricia Feinberg Stoner | Fascom | Kindle | 15 November 2018

Acknowledgements: This review is published as part of the virtual book tour organised by Rachel’s Random Resources to which we extend our thanks. Many thanks also to the publisher for supplying a review copy of the book and the cover image. All opinions are our own. All rights reserved.

 

 

Music to listen to: Lovely Françoise Hardy’s ‘Tous les garçons and les filles

Food to graze on while you’re reading: ‘Fava me with love‘; ‘Hunza apricots’ (with a lovely glass of very chilled local rosé as it’s summer of course).

 

Also of interest: ‘A tale of “Jews and shoes” in modern China, Spencer Wise’s debut novel’; ‘Lisa Ko’s The Leavers, Dialogue’s brilliant debut; ‘The Woolgrower’s companion‘; ‘20 books this summer challenge – lovely words‘, no 14 on the list; ‘Soundings – in search of one father’s war‘ (interview, artist Kate Gritton); ‘The stark beauty of William Shaw’s Salt Lane‘; ‘Johana Gustawsson’s Keeper –indie publisher, Orenda, does it again‘; ‘We should all be feminists’; ‘Jane Harper’s stylish debut – The Dry’.

 

This review is © 2018 by The Literary Shed. All rights reserved. All opinions are our own. We welcome your feedback and comments. If you wish to reproduce this piece, please do contact us to request permission. Thank you so much.