Liz Ryan

French Leave

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It was when she realised she was spending twelve hours a week and five thousand euro a year commuting to work that Liz Ryan began to question how great life in boom-time Ireland really was – and reached a decision the day an enraged biker hurled a helmet at her windscreen. So she quit her job, sold her house and moved to a remote hamlet in coastal Normandy. Thus begins her French adventure, in which she gets picked up by the police, discovers the mixed pleasures of French homeownership – flooded basements, grim neighbours, surreal phone companies, busybody mayors – and embraces the challenges of creating a new life in a new country. Liz hilariously charts her gradual immersion into village life, the setbacks and the joys, the local political intrigue, the Gallic shrug and that famous French bureaucracy – and paradoxical French attitudes to food, politics, sport, dating, and shopping on the grand scale. But like any expat, even as she revels in new pleasures she also experiences the tug-of-war between fresh fields and the place of one's birth, the craic, the humour and the warm embrace of lifelong friends.
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334 printed pages
Original publication
2013

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