Book Review | How to Make a French Family: A Memoir of Love, Food, and Faux Pas by Samantha Verant

frenchfamAuthour:
Samantha Verant
Format:
e-Galley
Publication date:
April 1st 2017
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
What happens after you reunite with the Frenchman you fell in love with 20 years ago, and the two of you marry in a romantic, fairy tale California wedding? In Samantha Vérant’s How to Make a French Family we learn what happens after she marries the love of her life and moves to southwestern France to live with him and his two young children.

What I love with regards to How to Make a French Family is that Vérant doesn’t sugarcoat things concerning the various difficulties she has initially with adjusting to life in a foreign country in addition to her role as a step-mother. She faces resistance, isolation loneliness and the occasional humiliation (due to the odd unintentional language faux pas) and yet gradually she learns to adjust to her new life in France all while making a couple of new friends too. Through it all, Vérant draws you into her world with her gorgeous prose and teleports you along her in moments of both sadness and joy.

What’s also interesting in this book is that the author tells us the story of how her first memoir, Seven Letters from Paris came to be. For those who are interested in publishing, it’s an interesting glimpse at one way of how a book can come about. And for those of you who haven’t read Seven Letters from Paris I highly recommend that you pick it up. In fact, before starting How to Make a French Family I picked up Seven Letters from Paris again and it remained just as excellent of a read as I remember.

In Seven Letters from Paris, my favourite parts were of Samantha and Jean-Luc interacting with each other and rekindling their romance from when they were young. However, in How to Make a French Family I adored reading the moments where she interact with her stepchildren and how she forms a bond with them. This is especially heartwarming given the children’s volatile and mistrustful relationship with their last stepmother.

As a person who loves travel and food, this book was a pleasure to read. Food plays a major role in How to Make a French Family and Vérant provides readers with recipes of dishes that she or her family members/friends have made that were mentioned in the book. Once again, Vérant has written another gem that has you cheering her on as she tackles her challenge of “how to make a French family”.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

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Book Review | Seven Letters from Paris by Samantha Verant

7letterAuthour:
Samantha Verant
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 258 pages
Publication date:
October 7th 2014
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
I love a good love story especially ones that involve travel of some kind, and it’s even better if the story is one that actually happened as there is a serious lack of epic love stories in my real life. (No offence intended to anyone I know who may be reading this)

What I loved regarding Seven Letters from Paris is that it is such a delightful story of romance, missed opportunities and second chances. It is a book that is fairly reminiscent to the YA novel, Just One Day by Gayle Forman which I adore with the exception that there are a few twists one of which is that the book is a memoir of the authour’s real life fairy tale romance. Seven Letters from Paris concerns a disillusioned woman who is nearing forty who is recently separated from her husband and broke. As she tries to figure out where she went wrong in her life, she comes across seven love letters written to her from a handsome French scientist whom she met and got to be acquainted with for only a day when she was nineteen. She subsequently decides to take a risk and attempt to find him, and the rest of the book details her adventures that come once the two reconnect.

Throughout it all the writing is simple and crisp, and the story was certainly engrossing. My favourite component of this book however was the fact that all seven of Jean-Luc’s (the French scientist) love letters were included in this book. It added a charming touch to the story especially given how significant of a role they played in the book. Occasionally the truth can be even better and more interesting than fiction, and this book was an example of this.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.