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Books on living in, moving to France
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Home > Explore The Region > Travel Information > Book Shop > Living in and moving to France

Living in and moving to France


If you're thinking of moving to France, check out the books on this page. They cover all of the practical issues involved - finance, education, bureaucracy, work etc - as well as the more pleasurable sides of living in France, such as wine and food culture, and festivals and customs.

A Call From France

Catherine Broughton. 308 pages





Every parent believes their child is something special and will become somebody to be proud of ....... so how do you cope when it all goes horribly wrong ?
Short listed for the Crema prize for new writers, A Call From France is set in France and tells, with wit and with love, the story of a British family who tried to settle there. Sometimes very funny and sometimes heart-wrenching, this is a book that will stay in your mind long after you have finished reading.

Encounters in the Languedoc [Kindle Edition]

Barry M Glanfield. 153 pages. 2013.



I have always enjoyed experiencing the deeper and sometimes more strange people and things of life. I wasn't to be disappointed on my arrival in a small village in the Languedoc in Southern France. Some of the characters that I've met are almost unbelievable. From my initial verbal skirmishes with the duck hunting chortling self styled local policeman, to the Pope designate of his own personal bizarre flock and onto interactions with many others, including the pretender to the French throne. Coming from a traditional English background; these were encounters I couldn't have dreamt of some years previously and my eyes had been opened to a new way of life, both ironic and full of laughter.

French Sand

Catherine Broughton. 256 pages.





The South Pacific island of New Caledonia is home to many ex-patriats, to include Melanie, a young English woman who is suddenly - and totally inexplicably - abandoned by her husband. Based on a true story and set in the 1960s in the days of stiletto heels and the Beatles, the reasons for Melanie's loss slowly unravel .....
This award-winning novel is aimed at women readers and is a page-turner you will want to recommend to your friends.

A la Mod: My So-Called Tranquil Family Life in Rural France

Ian Moore, 2013





Comedian, mod and professional grump Ian Moore has had enough. Tired of being unable to park anywhere near his cramped house in a noisy town he doesn’t like, he hatches a plan to move his wife and young son to a remote corner of the Loire Valley in search of serenity and space. Several years later, Ian finds himself up to his neck in bilingual offspring, feral cats, promiscuous horses, dysfunctional spaniels and needy hens; he’s wrestling with electric fences, a foreign language, a mountain of animal waste and a wife who collects livestock like there’s a biblical flood on the horizon, all while trying not to dirty his loafers.

A Piano In The Pyrenees

Tony Hawks. 320 pages. 2007.





Inspired by breathtaking views and romantic dreams of finding love in the mountains, Tony Hawks impulsively buys a house in the French Pyrenees. Here, he plans to finally fulfil his childhood fantasy of mastering the piano, untroubled by the problems of the world.

"Hugely entertaining" (The Mirror ). "Funny and irreverent as ever" (Wanderlust ). "A warmly comic adventure" (Daily Mail ).

A Year in Provence

Peter Mayle. 224 pages. 2000.







Peter Mayle and his wife did what most of us only imagine doing when they made their long-cherished dream of a life abroad a reality: throwing caution to the wind, they bought a glorious two hundred year-old farmhouse in the Lubéron Valley and began a new life. In a year that begins with a marathon lunch and continues with a host of gastronomic delights, they also survive the unexpected and often hilarious curiosities of rural life. From mastering the local accent and enduring invasion by bumbling builders, to discovering the finer points of boules and goat-racing, all the earthy pleasures of Provençal life are conjured up in this enchanting portrait.

C'est La Folie

448 pages. 2007.







One day in late summer, Michael Wright gave up his comfortable South London existence and, with only his long-suffering cat for company, set out to begin a new life. His destination was 'La Folie', a dilapidated 15th century farmhouse in need of love and renovation in the heart of rural France... Inspired by the success of his column in the Daily Telegraph about La Folie, this book is his winningly honest account of his struggle to fulfil a childhood dream and become a Real Man - to make the journey from social townie to rugged, solitary paysan.

Cockney in Corbière

Robert Griffiths. 276 pages. 2006.





Robert Griffiths is a London born cockney who has lived in various European countries. A family man and a passionate sportsman. He now lives in retirement in the southwest of France with his wife and four children, unable to work having been struck down by a severe stoke.

Grape Expectations: A Family's Vineyard Adventure in France

288 pages. 2012.





When Caro and Sean find the perfect ten-hectare vineyard in Saussignac, it seems their dreams of becoming wine-makers in the south of France are about to come true. But they arrive in France with their young family (a toddler and a newborn) to be faced with a dilapidated eighteenth-century farmhouse and an enterprise that may never, ever make them a living.

La Belle Saison

320 pages. 2006.





When Patricia Atkinson - bestselling author of The Ripening Sun - first moved to France, her intention was simply to establish a vineyard. Over the years, however, she found herself becoming integrated into a way of life that, had she stayed in England, she would hardly have believed existed. Grounded in the rhythms of the land and the seasons, daily life in Patricia's south-western corner of France is dictated by a series of rituals and celebrations that we have long lost in our supermarket age.

Live & Work in France

Jack Sims. 512 pages. 2008.



Live & Work in France is the definitive book to living and working in France and is full of personal case histories from people who have made the move there. The book gives essential information on the customs, laws and regulations and way of life that will be encountered there, and gives advice on securing a residence permit, getting the best health care, making friends with the locals, opening the right bank account, finding your ideal home, obtaining a competitive mortgage, dealing with surveys and conveyancing and making the most of your leisure time.

More More France Please

400 pages. 2011.



'Shatters more than a few myths.' Everything France 'An insider's guide.' Good Housekeeping 'Indispensable.' Good Book Guide 'Darkly humorous - ' The Sunday Times 'At last a different and amusing perspective.' Daily Mail 'Amusing.' Harpers & Queen 'A must read.' French Property News 'Shatters more than a few myths.' Everything France 'One of the best books of its kind.' Riviera News 'A veritable bible.' Languedocian

Narrow Dog To Carcassonne

Terry Darlington. 432 pages. 2006.







A richly atmospheric journey suffused with summer heat and occasional cabin fever, reaching its climax on the flamingo-studded inland sea of the Camargue... The writing is as muscular and lean as its canine hero, conjuring up dawn mist or giant catfish in prose haiku before moving on to the next killer one-liner... A rich and winning comic debut, destined to become a classic of the downshifting genre (Sunday Telegraph )

Notes From the Languedoc

Rupert Wright, 2005



It is easy to get to the Languedoc. Follow the Rhone south through France, then once you hit the Mediterranean coast, turn right. The mystery is that for generations, people have been getting to the sea and turning left to Provence. This lack of attention means that the Languedoc is France's last undiscovered Mediterranean secret.

Pardon My French: Unleash Your Inner Gaul

Charles Timoney. 256 pages. 2007.





Things you didn't know about France: you burnt Joan of Arc!; smuggling live chickens into rugby matches is patriotic; how many times to kiss on the cheek; where not to cross the road; French guns don't go 'bang'; what do you call a party? bon appetit is vulgar. Forget the French you learnt at school. Based on twenty years of hard-won knowledge, "Pardon My French" takes you through all the words you need to survive.

Serge Bastarde Ate My Baguette

John Dummer. 320 pages. 2009.





It would have been churlish to have refused his invitation to accompany him on a trip to ‘forage for hidden treasures’. If the truth be known, I secretly couldn’t resist the novelty of passing time with a bloke called Serge Bastarde. When John decamps to France to start up as an antiques dealer, he doesn’t count on meeting Serge Bastarde. The lovable rogue and brocanteur off ers to teach John the tricks of the trade in return for help in a series of unscrupulous schemes.

Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong

Jean-Benoit Nadeau. 268 pages. 2004.





'Sixty Million Frenchmen Can't Be Wrong' is a journey into the French heart, mind and soul. This book reveals French ideas about land, food, privacy and language and weaves together the threads of French society, uncovering the essence of life in France and giving, for the first time, a complete picture of the French.

The Ripening Sun: One Woman and the Creation of a Vineyard

320 pages. 2004.





For most people giving up the day job and moving to a beautiful area of France and living off the vines is an impossible but delicious dream. In 1990, Patricia Atkinson and her husband decided to sell up in Britain and emigrate to the Dordogne. Their idea was to buy a house with a few vines attached and employ someone to tend to the wine while they earned their living with some financial consultancy work. What follows is a remarkable story of struggle.

The Secret Life of France

Lucy Wadham. 288 pages. 2010.





At the age of eighteen Lucy Wadham ran away from English boys and into the arms of a Frenchman. Twenty-five years later, having married in a French Catholic Church, put her children through the French educational system and divorced in a French court of law, Wadham is perfectly placed to explore the differences between Britain and france.

Tout Soul: The Pursuit of Happiness in Rural France

320 pages. 2012.





A French Memoir. Having quit her fast-paced life as a fashion editor in London for a new life in France, the author appears to have it all: a cute dog, a charismatic Portuguese boyfriend and a quirky collection of French and expat friends. But then she makes a discovery that changes everything. In the year that follows, she decides to cure heartbreak by seeking happiness in small things. But nothing could have prepared her for the tragedy to come... Tout Soul will make you laugh and make you cry in equal measure.

Tout Sweet: Hanging Up my High Heels for a New Life in France

320 pages. 2009.







In her mid-thirties Karen has it all: a career as a fashion editor, a handsome boyfriend, a fab flat in west London and an array of gorgeous shoes. But when her ‘plus one’ leaves, she wonders if there is more to life than high fashion. So, she hangs up her Manolos and waves goodbye to her city lifestyle, deciding to go it alone in a run-down house in rural Poitou-Charentes, western France.

Two Steps Backward

336 pages. 2004.



Susie Kelly and her husband Terry had long dreamed of owning a home in France, but ironically it wasn't until they were facing homeless penury in England that they realized their dream. With five dogs, two parrots and their elderly horses, they moved to an old farmhouse in the Poitou-Charentes region with dirt floors, no water and a primitive electricity supply.





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