Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tout Sweet by Karen Wheeler

Plot: Karen has just come out of a bad break up and decides it's time to change her life.  Leaving her career as a fashion editor, she goes to France with a friend for the weekend and ends up buying a house.  Over the course of a year, she travels back and forth from England to France fixing up the new house in bits and pieces until she decides to move there on a full time basis.  Having already established herself within the small village, we are taken into dinner parties, a few unsuitable suitors and the local gossip.  During all this, Karen needs to remind herself that even though her ex-boyfriend is a few hours drive away, he's out of her life for good.

This is a memoir.

As a woman in my late 30's (at the time of this posting)  I fell in step with her choices as I read the book. You understand the pull right off that a new city and a new country had for her at that point in her life.  I thought it was a well designed suggestion that while the author was going through all of this, she kept mentioning a few books about moving to France that she too was reading. I am guessing that Julia Child had something of a role model for her on this regard.

We follow her through about two and a half years of her life as she fixes up her house, learns French and discovers who she can really trust as she learns who she herself really is.

A warm and light touch to what I am sure was a heavy time in the author's life.    I would have loved to have found out just what the real issue between herself and one of the men she writes about, Dave, was. It's hinted at (an over active imagination of a relationship by Dave that never manifested) but never actually confirmed.
Her way of telling you about a pie is done with a flair you would expect from a fashion editor, but also from someone who knows food.  

Karen Wheeler makes you want to take that risk yourself and just move to France.

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