I first came across Bobbi when I stumbled on her very popular blog about her life in France. Bobbi French was a psychiatrist in Canada who made a life-changing decision to give up her tidy life working at a busy hospital to “find” herself in France.
She started to write about her life in the little village of Semur-en Auxois in Burgundy – her blogs were hilarious, uplifting and searingly honest and when she decided to return to Canada via Switzerland she wrote a book about her experiences.
I couldn’t put the book down. It is witty, vivacious, sparkling, honest and funny. Bobbi spills the beans on what life is really like for a woman who speaks hardly any French, can’t gain meaningful employment and has a tendency to be very candid with everyone. This is a no-holds barred look at life in France – the good, the bad and the ugly and it held me from the first page to the last.
Having walked out on her old life and persuading her very understanding husband Neil to walk with her, Bobbi aims to find a different way of life and let’s just say – her dream came true but in many ways she never even thought possible. A visit to the chemist is fraught with tension as she struggles to find the French words for women’s parts; making friends is not so easy when you speak a different language; coming to terms with the economic reality of living in a country where it is almost impossible to get a job as a non-French speaker. And that latter point is critical – Bobbi loves to talk, debate, discuss and not being able to do that with her new French friends and neighbours is incredibly hard for her – the blog was her way of letting it all out and that same quality that held so many thousands enthralled each day is absolutely in the book. It is a very down to earth review of her life in France and had me laughing out loud several times.
As someone who was used to a high flying and high paying job in Canada Bobbi struggles to get used to life as a “glorified toilet scrubber” in Burgundy. She railed against being reliant on her husband to be the main provider but it is clear that she adores him and he adores her – he must do, he does all the cooking too as Bobbi refuses to learn where the kitchen is!
Bobbi’s accounts of everyday life are spot on, as a psychiatrist she analyses herself constantly and it makes for a most entertaining read as she comes to the conclusion that she may well be bonkers. I don’t think so; she is adventurous, funny, eccentric, witty and has a way of looking at life that makes you see it with her. Her fabulous photos peppered throughout the book are beautiful, they’ll have you wanting to chuck it all in and follow her to France too!
When I looked on Amazon – this book had 5 star reviews all the way through – I’m not surprised – it’s VERY good.
Read our interview with Bobbi French.