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Novels set in France


Frecossais

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I have always enjoyed reading books set in France, even if I don't like the book very much. They usually make me want to visit the area described in the book. However I've just finished Trespass by Rose Tremain, whose setting is the Cevennes. The theme, the characters and the brooding forest and pitiless landscape all conspired to make me feel I'd rather stick pins in my eyes than go anywhere near there.

Am I missing anything?

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Yes I think you might be missing this

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=cevennes+national+park&hl=en&biw=1280&bih=696&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=14pvTv33F4O58gOw9OTfCQ&ved=0CEMQsAQ

Its a loverly area especially in a sunny May June time

Edit sorry usless at posting links ...you will have to copy and paste it
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[quote user="Frecossais"]Years and years ago I read a Mary Stewart book, can't remember name of it now, but on the strength of it, my sister and I hitch-hiked to France to see Lake Annecy. Beautiful area.

The following year we travelled to Crete after reading The Moon Spinners.

Well, we were young.

[/quote]

Nine coaches waiting - eastern France / Switz border

Madame will you talk - Arles and Montpellier (from memory can't find it at the mo)

Thunder on the right - Pyrenees

Wonderful writer, they don't make them like that any more ....

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AnOther, I read Labyrinth with my book group and enjoyed it, but I was disappointed that she used the same format in Sepulchre, ie two stories, one in the past that has an influence on one in the present. Haven't read the third.

However the setting is well described, and I know several people who were fascinated by Carcassonne and wanted to go there. I've already holidayed in that area. 

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[quote user="Frecossais"]I think it was Nine Coaches Waiting, about a young woman who came to France as a governess to a little boy who pronounced "squirrel" in English as "squervirrel". Funny the things that stick in your mind!

Remember Airs above the Ground

My brother Michael?

As you say.........

[/quote]

My favourite one is Nine Coaches Waiting, and you remember it correctly. 

My brother Michael is set in Greece which is why I didn't mention it here ....

I think I have them all, though at this moment Nine coaches is "missing" - I am still getting my "book room" in order, a year after we moved!

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I always thought one of Ms Stewart's great strengths was her sense of place.  My favourites were set in the North and Scotland - The Ivy Tree and Wildfire at Midnight.  A part of Britain which I love so much and it was just like being transported there.  I feel I sort of grew out of her but since I got the Kindle have been half tempted to download one and try her again.  I still have the books somewhere but am just not up to rummaging in the loft at the mo'!
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Just been listening to Hilary Mantell on TV, talking about her books and her life.  I don't recall the exact title, but her first book was about the French revolution and the central character was Marie Antoinette.

I thought she'd won the Man Booker more than once but, in fact, I think it was just in 2009 for Wolf Hall (off topic here as that one is not about France!)

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Thank you, rowland....and there was I, having watched the whole programme from start to finish ,and can't remember the name of the book!  This memory loss is getting worse by the day.....

I think that nowadays, I am relying more and more on Google to remember things for me:  you see, I knew that if I just googled Hilary Mantell, for example, the name of the book would come up!

Wonder what implications this has for the evolution of memory in the human species?[:D]

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[quote user="5-element"][quote user="sweet 17"]

Wonder what implications this has for the evolution of memory in the human species?[:D]

[/quote]

The implications are  that memory lapses can be kept private for much longer than in the pre-Google days![:-))]

[/quote]

So, evolutionary laws will ensure that we lose our memories more quickly but that it will take longer for others to rumble us?

Well then how will that help or hinder the progress of the human race?

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[quote user="Ariège Author"]Devoured all of Mary Stewart's books when I was younger. She's obviously still appealing to readers out there as her publisher, Hodder, re-released all of her novels this year. Just shows, the old ones are the best...[/quote]

That is good news, I found I was missing one, and ordered it (whilst still in London), it took about 2 years to arrive .... so obviously the first of the re-printings ..... now, I wonder where my 9 coaches is ... better go hunt!

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[quote user="cooperlola"]I always thought one of Ms Stewart's great strengths was her sense of place.  My favourites were set in the North and Scotland - The Ivy Tree and Wildfire at Midnight.  A part of Britain which I love so much and it was just like being transported there.  ![/quote]

Deb,

I so agree, though the northern ones were never my favourites .... all are now slightly dated in the time period  in which they are set (modern, but the world has moved on and manners and morals are not the same as when she wrote - cf Airs above the ground ) which is why they went out of favour perhaps, but she can write a good thriller and romance at the same time, not always successfully done by other thriller writers who scare me somewhat.

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Another book I read that was set in the Morvan in Burgundy was The Virgin Blue. I think it was written by Tracy Chevalier. That too was about a dark secretive people full of superstition, and set in their ways. I've been to the Morvan and much of it is beautiful, but those forbidding forests can still make me shiver.

Mary Stewart, I so hope I won't be disappointed when I read her again. My sister and I followed her to Crete when we read The Moonspinners.

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  • 1 month later...
Nothing to do with France at all, but if you are interested in the effect of the internet on our brains then you need to read a book called The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr.

Absolutely the most interesting book I have read this year.
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