Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Book review of A Very French Christmas

French Village Diaries book review A Very French Christmas France Book Tours
A Very French Christmas

A Very French Christmas: The Greatest French Holiday Stories of All Time, on Tour August 8-14

(short story collection) Release date: October 10, 2017 at New Vessel Press ISBN: 978-1939931504 142 pages Website Goodreads  


A continuation of the very popular Very Christmas Series from New Vessel Press, this collection brings together the best French Christmas stories of all time in an elegant and vibrant collection featuring classics by Guy de Maupassant and Alphonse Daudet, plus stories by the esteemed twentieth century author Irene Nèmirovsky and contemporary writers Dominique Fabre and Jean-Philippe Blondel. With a holiday spirit conveyed through sparkling Paris streets, opulent feasts, wandering orphans, kindly monks, homesick soldiers, oysters, crayfish, ham, bonbons, flickering desire, and more than a little wine, this collection encapsulates the holiday spirit and proves that the French have mastered Christmas. This is Christmas à la Française delicious, intense and unexpected, proving that nobody does Christmas like the French.


August seemed rather an odd time of year to be reading and reviewing a book about Christmas, especially for someone who never likes to think about Christmas until October is on it’s way out. However, I am ashamed to admit I don’t have enough experience of reading the great French authors, so with contributions from names like Guy de Maupassant, François Coppée and Anatole France I thought this collection of short stories would be a perfect introduction and I wasn’t disappointed.

This selection of Christmas tales was full of beautifully written pieces, where the descriptions of winter helped to cool me down on a hot summer day, although I wasn’t really filled with the Christmas cheer I was expecting. These traditional tales set in years gone by often reminded me of Dickens. Many of the stories seemed to show how lonely Christmas can be for some; the old man struggling to fit in with his family, the hermit and his pig, the young gambler bankrupt on Christmas Eve, the dying soldier far from home and the wealthy but lonely merchant are just a few examples to be found, along with a good smattering of ghostly apparitions and orphans. They were certainly stories that made me think and I enjoyed this different perspective.

Culturally I learned a lot and was certainly glad to make my acquaintance of some of France’s great writers. I am looking forward to re-reading this book nearer the festive season and now that I’ve dipped my toes into the literature of some of France’s greats, I’m keen to read more.


Alphonse Daudet, Guy de Maupassant, Anatole France Irene Nèmirovsky, Jean-Philippe Blondel, Dominique Fabre, Paul Arene, Francois Coppee, Antoine Gustave Droz, Anatole La Braz
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French Village Diaries book review A Very French Christmas France Book Tours

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