It all began on a dismal day in February when I left London with my husband to take my Dad to buy some wine in France on a day trip. When my Mum died my Dad would drink a bit too much whisky at times to get him through the long nights without the love of his life. I thought getting him to drink wine would be a bit better than the hard stuff. So we set off in the cold and the sleet on a miserable winter’s day, bought some wine and searched for a town in the beautiful countryside of the 7 Valleys to have lunch. We discovered we were too late; all the restaurants closed at 2.00 pm and when a kind property agent offered us a cup of coffee and a look at his cheapest houses… I somehow ended up buying an unloved, run down farmhouse which cost less than a Hermès Birkin Bag.
My friends called me “The Good Life France” after the UK sitcom series The Good Life (The Good Neighbours in the US) about a couple who gave up city life to try to be self-sufficient.
It’s been a rollercoaster ride that’s seen me turn my life upside down and inside out. Renovating a dilapidated old house, taking in stray animals, getting to grips with the locals and the culture of France.
Here’s what Samantha Vérant, author of 7 Letters from Paris and How to Make a French Family said about it:
Watch out Peter Mayle, there’s a new girl in town and her name is Janine Marsh. Warm, uplifting, and effervescent (like a glass of your favorite champagne), Janine’s voice and humor bubbles right off the page, making you want to pack your bags and visit her fixer-upper home in rural France. Through the good and the bad, Janine draws you in with poetic prose and wonderful descriptions, making you fall in love with le joie de vivre. Highly recommended. Five stars.
(Wow, thank you Samantha).
It’s on Amazon globally in print and for Kindle (click for Amazon UK here and here for Amazon US, in books shops in the UK like WHSmith and Waterstones, in Paris at Bon Marche, Shakespeare & Co and WHSmith Paris, in the US at Barnes & Noble and in Australia at Booktopia