Friday, June 12, 2020

Book review of What have we got Toulouse? by Nikki McArthur

French Village Diaries review What have we got Toulouse Nikki McArthur
What have we got Toulouse? Nikki McArthur

What have we got Toulouse by Nikki McArthur


It seems to have been a while since I read a moving to France memoir, but it was good to be back nosing into someone else’s life and enjoying someone else’s experience of their early days in France.


Nikki and her family arrived just after we did in 2004, so many of her experiences were familiar to me, except the biggies of giving birth here and having (lots of) young children to cope with alongside settling in and renovating. Theirs really is quite an extraordinary story. Their family is bigger than most of us who pack up our belongings and move here. The watermill they purchased is a considerably bigger property than your average rural dwelling and they took on the challenge of renovating and running holiday accommodation alongside a gardening business and nursery, that in the early days often saw Nikki alone with the children while husband Gary worked in the UK. Chapeau Nikki, and you had time to write a book too, I’m most impressed.


This book is an account of their first years in France, including house-hunting, moving, finding schools, the medical system and more, but it isn’t written chronologically, and I thought the flow between the topics she covers worked really well. As well as their experiences of family life in France Nikki has also included helpful hints as to what to do or what to expect if you are planning a move here in the future. 


This very readable account will appeal to all those who dream of moving to France as well as being a useful guide for those who are hoping to make that dream a reality.

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