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French Bliss, by Joni Sutton & Chip Williams

Follow two intrepid Minnesota retirees as they learn what it takes to live like a local in France. Read about their adventures in their adopted country – the humorous encounters, the obstacles they overcame, and the life-long friends they made along the way.

Review of French Bliss

French Bliss is a great laid back read of a book. It’s perfect for a lazy day of reading and daydreaming about being in France.

Americans Joni and Chip have handed over their passion for all things French to the reader. Having the chapters told by the alternating writer, you get a better perspective on how they are both feeling and how each deals with challenges they face – it makes you feel like you are a part of their incredible story.

French Bliss is all about the couple’s personal travelling journey, making new lifelong friends in France and welcoming old friends to experience their joy in such a beautiful area. They throw themselves into French life and have a go at wine making, watch exciting bike races and see where their daily walks take them. They explain how they had to adjust to a slower pace of life, learn the art of being patient and want to be a part of the community of their adopted town. I liked how while Joni was practicing her French, she was teaching children from the local school about traditions from America. It really makes you get just how much she wants to be in France and savour every moment.

Their descriptive writing puts you there in the moment with them, especially at La Grenouille – I’m planning my own visit there! Joni and Chip totally embrace the French way of life while they spend their autumns in France and their emotions are always at the edge, showing their appreciation of the help they receive and acceptance of being welcomed at their home – the winery. Chip gives great attention to detail when recalling their stories of wine tasting, clipping the bunches of grapes, stamping the barrels and bottling the wine, with their apartment owner. You can imagine being there, the scents, the tastes, sounds…

Reading about their take on cultural differences, the language barrier, learning traditional methods for wine making, barrel making and tips for living a French life, they make it seem easy. Though they don’t hide the challenging aspects of life in France, French Bliss makes you want to pack up for a few months and make your own trip, friends and memories. The recipe for cheesy little Gougeres at the end was a lovely bonus. I’ll have to make some and read the book again!

By French Bookworm is professional book reviewer and Francophile whose favourite part of France is – all of it!

French Bliss is available in print and for kindle from Amazon and online bookstores.

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