Through the open door we could hear the croaking of our resident frog, and the long, sliding song of a nightingale. We took a final glass of wine outside and looked by the light of the moon at the new lavender bed while the dogs rooted for mice in the
Mayle and his wife live in the Lubéron, a Provençal mountain range, supposedly out of the way of so much of the
He describes so well such a simple, idyllic lifestyle that I wonder, and hope against, how much change the region must have gone through in the past 18 years. But Mayle is very impersonal, and, for that reason, Bill Bryson is still my favorite travel writer. Where Bryson really helps you relate to him, and see experiences through his eyes, Mayle keeps the reader at arm’s length. The book is minimal on dialogue, at least on Mayle’s part, and relies more on observations and briefly summed up conversations. It’s a quick read, and often very humorous, as only an outsider’s perspective can be. You could probably get through it on a slow afternoon if you wanted too, and it’s definitely worth the time.