Non Fiction

In Foreign Fields: How Not To Move To France by Susie Kelly


I saw this book on a couple of blogs in the blogosphere before finding it on NetGalley and I was glad to be approved an ecopy. The review is completely based on my own reading experience.

I need to start this review by saying that I sometimes like reading a well-written memoir even if there is not as much content in it as one would expect out of a standard fiction novel. In this case, there is a lot of content but a few people may not see it the same way. Years ago, I recommended James Herriot books to a lot of people, very few of whom actually liked it as much as I did. This particular book reminded me of James Herriot and the place he called home.

Susie and her husband (mostly Susie was by herself) move to rural France because of strained financial circumstances. They buy a house and land which needed a lot of work to be comfortably habitable. Then her adventure begins. As her husband travels up and down to maintain a job in England, she spends a lot of time on her own navigating the routines of her new life and assorted neighbours and possible friends. There are a lot of animals and a few birds thrown into the mix, some of them came with her from England while others get added because of one reason or another. It is a slow and painful undertaking with some respite in between. Despite all of the hardships, the humour of the situations does not escape her(on almost all occasions). The narration is not always linear but it was easy to follow. I liked the author’s style of narration and enjoyed the way she talked about her surroundings. Every aspect of living her life is tackled within those pages ranging from food to medical treatments. It is filled with details and anecdotes and if that sounds like something you would be interested in, I highly recommend reading it!

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