Wednesday, July 9, 2008

French by Heart - Book Review

Just before we left on holidays - I read about a book called "French by Heart" - An American Family's Adventures in La Belle France by Rebecca S. Ramsey. I found out that it was in our local library and checked it out.

I brought the book along with me, thinking I might have time to read in the car or while visiting my family. As it turned out I didn't even open the book until we were less than 7 hours from our return destination.

I throughly enjoyed it! It made the last few hours of daylight driving go by quickly.

The story is about a family with 3 young children from South Carolina, who move to France for four years, because of the husband's job.

The Ramsey family ends up living across the street from an eccentric, elderly French woman, who adds some "liveliness" to their adventure in France.

I would love to move to France or any other country (within reason - and sorry Canada isn't in the running I've already lived there) for a short-term job placement. I think it's a great way for children to learn another language while being immersed in a totally different culture. My preference would be to live in a country with a language that would actually be useful to the children in the future (ie. Spanish, French).


Jennifer said...

We too dream of living in another country some day. In the mean time, have you considered hosting a foreign exchange student? There are lots of organizations to go through and you can have them in your home for short or long terms.

Anonymous said...

Reading about another country is one thing, but living there is another matter. It's fun to dream about moving somewhere else. In the USA there are states that speak mainly french and spanish.It might be good to look into these places.

Edi said...

I think the problem with staying within the USA but living in a primarily French or Spanish living area is that you are not forced to speak the language since you still have English speaking folks around or people that speak both languages. As well, culture is a big part of the cannot properly learn another language without learning the culture and you can only learn the culture by living it.

I studied French for many years in school in Canada - but without daily practice - without being surrounded with that language - you will not become proficient IMHO.

Jennifer - I have not considered a foreign exchange problem would be that our home is too small to accommodate any more people :)

Emily said...

My stepmom and sister have gone on cooking vacations to France twice. Sounds fun, the best part would be picking out your fresh produce before the day starts, then coming home to cook with it. FUN.

ames said...

Sounds like a lovely book, I'll have to check it out! I'm right in the middle of Julia Child's "My Life in France" and she paints such a romantic and beautiful picture of the country that it really does make you dream of becoming an ex-pat. And the food, oh my!