By Karen Wheeler
Release Date: 8/1/2011
Source: From Publisher
Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France is Karen Wheeler's memoir about giving up city life in London for the French countryside. For many years, Karen had a successful career as a fashion editor. At 35, she had a glamorous life and the perfect man - Eric. But, when talk between them turned to marriage, Eric bolted.
So, a heartbroken Karen decides to give up it all up and move to a small village in France. She buys a house in serious need of renovations. (No indoor bathroom! No kitchen floor!) Along with the house comes an assortment of very colorful neighbors to keep her busy.
Memoirs are not my usual genre of choice, but what drew me to this book was the fantasy of moving someplace new and starting over, and this lucky woman was able to do it. For most people (like me), it's only a dream, so it was fun to live vicariously through Karen. I enjoyed the rich descriptions of the life in her village and its quirky inhabitants.
As much as I liked the subject, I had a difficult time getting into the story. It didn't grab my attention and pick up the pace until half way through. There were some references to British places that were lost on me (Marks & Spencer? I had to google it!) and plenty of French words and phrases, but that didn't bother me too much.
Karen's move to France wasn't just about a change of scenery. It was also about letting go of Eric and moving on from the heartache. It took her a long time to deal with her emotional baggage. One quote from the book that stuck with me was by her friend Dave:
I would recommend this book to fans of chick lit and fans of all things French. I give Tout Sweet 3 out of 5 stars.
But you have to remember...that you can't run from unhappiness. You just take it with you.