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Cracking holiday reads

5 cracking reads for your French holiday

A good book is always essential when heading abroad. There’s nothing better than getting on the Eurostar and allowing yourself to disappear into another world, knowing that on the other side of the journey an adventure of your own awaits.

We’ve chosen five great books that will get you into the mood for your holiday in France.

Chocolat – Joanne Harris

A feast of the senses, Chocolat is the story of Vianne Rocher and her daughter Anouk, who arrive in a sleepy French village and set up a chocolate shop there. The members of this religious community slowly embrace Vianne’s presence and allow themselves to indulge in her treats. But the disapproving curé, Francis Reynaud,  is determined that his flock won’t fall under her spell. As Easter approaches, the village is divided. Who will triumph?

Chocolat is an ideal companion for holidays to the Dordogne and Aquitaine.

A Year in Provence – Peter Mayle

This light-hearted, witty novel chronicles Peter Mayle’s decision to move to an old farmhouse in the Lubéron area of Provence. From his battles with the January wind to the discovery of goat racing, as well as mouth-watering accounts of regional cuisine, the book documents the highlights of the couple’s first year.

A Year in Provence is, naturally, the book to take on a holiday to Provence.

The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas’ classic swashbuckler tells the tale of the poor but noble D’Artagnan (based on the real-life Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan), who leaves his home in Gascony to seek his fortune in Paris. Once there, he befriends three of the King’s Musketeers, and together they defend the honour of both the regiment and the queen against the scheming Cardinal Richelieu. But their most dangerous adversary is Milady de Winter, the Cardinal’s spy.

Take The Three Musketeers on a trip to Paris or the Midi Pyrenees.

Good-Bye To All That – Robert Graves

Robert Graves’ autobiography details his unhappy years at Charterhouse school and his time serving as an officer in the Great War. The account is honest and at times amusing, depicting life in the trenches, the horror of the battles and his own struggle to endure the appalling circumstances in which he found himself.

Tours of the battlefields in Picardy and Pas de Calais aren’t complete without a copy of Good-Bye To All That.

Tender is the Night – F Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald’s lyrical novel is set in the 1920s on the French Riviera, and describes the tragic affair between a young actress and an American psychologist, who is married to a Chicago heiress. At first everything goes well, but as his wife regains strength following a breakdown, the psychologist’s world starts to fall apart.

Enjoy Tender is the Night on holiday in the Languedoc-Roussillon or on the Mediterranean coast.