Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Book review of The Misadventures of Mistress Soul by Jan Hartley

French Village Diaries book review The Misadventures of Mistress Soul by Jan Hartley
The Misadventures of Mistress Soul by Jan Hartley

Jan, Gaz and their car Mistress Soul set out to see if life in France is for them in retirement. They plan a year’s rental in the south, thinking this should be enough to sample life, the sights, the food and the wine. For Gaz, it’s love at first sight, for Mistress Soul it’s the perfect opportunity to play up and demand attention, but for Jan it’s more of a challenge.


This is her humorous account of trying it out and trying to settle in, despite her homesickness for the grey skies of Blighty, and her family and friends left behind. We join them and the seemingly never-ending stream of visitors who come over and enjoy days out, meals, local festivals, road trips and more with super hosts Jan and Gaz.


I live some distance from where Jan and Gaz are based, however, many places she writes about are familiar from our past holidays and it was lovely to back, refreshing my memory, with Jan proving to be a great tour guide. We didn’t see eye to eye on everything though; she’d much rather hop on those funny little tourist trains than let her feet do the work and many of my favourite foods were those she’d (virtually) run a mile from. I envied their freedom and ability to set off on a whim, but many times she left me wanting more. More detail about a day out or a visit to a favourite spot would have been lovely and felt more relaxed, before being whisked off onto their next adventure. They certainly found lots going on localy and were not afraid of joining in, taking part and it was great fun sharing the laughter and hilarity that often found them.


I am sure there are many of you who dream of giving life in France a try-out, so let Jan guide you through her adventures and misadventures this autumn and enjoy a slice of retirement in France. You are certainly guaranteed a fun read.


The Misadventures of Mistress Soul is published by Linen Press and will be available in kindle and paperback editions from 10th September. You can pre-order from Amazon now.

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