When Susie Kelly decides, on a whim, to trek alone across France from La Rochelle to Lake Geneva, she entrusts her French farmhouse full of assorted animals to a total stranger from San Antonio, Texas. For each of them it is a life-changing experience. Both find their resourcefulness and ingenuity tested to the limit as, in their own ways, they explore and enjoy the culture, cuisine and people of Europe's most fascinating country.
While Susie doggedly tramps 500 miles over unknown terrain, frequently lost and either too hot or too cold, Texan Jennifer Shields copes heroically with lost dogs, erratic electricity, old men hiding in bushes, and a language she cannot speak.
This touching, true story of the Texan pioneering spirit, English eccentricity, and two women old enough to know better will appeal to all baby boomer travel adventurers whether out on the road, or settled comfortably for the ride in their fireside chair.
"A book to inspire." (Good Housekeeping Magazine)
"This is one of the best travel books I have read to date. I thoroughly enjoyed reading every drop of it." (Bas Bleu, US Amazon Vine Voice)
"Susie is ... able to paint a picture with words that makes me feel like I am beside her on her journey. Perfect for the Francophile, the armchair adventurer, and the lover of good literature..." (US Amazon Vine Voice)
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OK, I suppose
While I don't regret listening to this book, I don't think I'd actually recommend it. I actually found the protagonist more than a little unsympathetic and the writing style a little unprofessional.
Is the narrator of this book, Anne Day-Jones, the woman who does the voice for Siri on Apple products? If not, she sounds a lot like her. In fact, it was a bit like having a book read to you by Siri... pleasant enough but a tad lifeless.
I could see it as a t.v. mini-series, possibly. Some great comedic actors, like Jennifer Saunders or Sally Phillips for example, could actually give this the injection of life it needs.
If it helps, my wife listened to this book with me and she absolutely loved it.
- Mr. P. D. Selman
Dull and contrived
It was clear that Susie was looking for material for a book. She's no more a natural story teller than she's a natural hiker, and fails to bring the countryside, the people or the experience to life in her descriptions. There are some mildly amusing moments but honestly she moans a lot. Way too much. She didn't do her homework with the preparation and planning of the route, and she doesn't even know how to read a compass. Her smartphone would show her where she is when she's 'hopelessly lost' (which she is a lot), but I'd be surprised if she has one, let alone knows how to use it. Conversations portrayed the book sound stiff and unnatural. I'm 3/4 of the way through and am giving up, because I can't take Ann-Day's ridiculous French accent anymore.
The thrust of the story was read well but her American and French accents were a painful distraction. Her French accent in particular was, frankly, laughable.