A green eyed monster will appear when you begin to read Taking Root in Provence. He is of course, jealousy and he grows larger and larger with every page.
Taking Root in Provence shares the journey of a couple who, blessed with early retirement, decide to settle in Europe and ultimately make their home in Aix-en-Provence. Unfortunately, the couple themselves remains rather remote and the reader learns little about them themselves and more about their experiences.
The tone of the book is factual and observational. At times it is difficult to remember that Taking Root in Provence it is the story of an actual couple's major life decision to move abroad, which one would imagine is wrought with all sorts of emotions that are never expressed within the book. Rather it is a description of the day to day life season after season for those living in Provence. The reader is provided with a wonderful description of seasonal life and the activities for those living, and visiting, the region.
Ultimately, Taking Root in Provence is about a move that became a love affair with Aix-en-Provence. If you know anything about the Provencal region of Southern France none of the descriptions are difficult to image. This is where the jealousy and envy come in, or at least they did for me, because the couple remained aloof and mysterious their relation of living in this idyllic spot was annoying at times and completely unapproachable. Nevertheless, it does give the reader a guide to the region for travel though through a very focused, unidentified lens.
And while the book is not bad it is just not enough for anyone outside of the author's close circle of friends to relate to and for this reader, having briefly traveled in the region I was left envious of people that remain a mystery to me. The magic of the book is the magic that is within Provence itself. It has that certain je nais se quois. Taking Root in Provence does not.