This is a tale of accidental expatriates.
It all started in 2003, the year of the Great Heat all across Europe. We were blessing the thick stone walls and flagged floors of the holiday home in the Languedoc we had bought some 18 years earlier.
Then Purdey walked into our lives one Friday: a small brown and white Brittany spaniel with big brown eyes and an absurd stump of a tail.
We thought she was a stray. We had intended to take her to the animal shelter the following Monday. It never happened.
Instead, when her owner turned up to claim her, I found myself saying: ‘We like your dog, Monsieur, may we keep her?’
A moment’s impulse led, eventually, to our spending four years in a tiny, eccentric community where the neighbour cut the telephone wires, the clock clacked and the carpenter really did have to go to a funeral – for real.
It is largely a true account, although some events have been tweaked in the telling, the author being of the firm conviction that one should never spoil a good story for the sake of a few facts.
At Home in the Pays d’Oc won the One Stop Fiction Five Star Book Award.
‘I sniggered, I cackled and my belly ached as I travelled through the adventures in France. What a treat! You must, must, must ‘(expletive deleted)’ read this book about following a dream… Patricia Feinberg Stoner has a unique flair for writing comedy and you will be drunk with laughter.’ Jessie Cahalin, Books in My Handbag
‘Part memoir, part travel book, wittily written and engaging, At Home in the Pays d’Oc is so much more than ‘how to live in a foreign country’. Despite being penned anecdotally, it flows with the rhythm of a good novel.’ Ingénue Magazine