×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

How to Make a French Family: A Memoir of Love, Food, and Faux Pas
     

How to Make a French Family: A Memoir of Love, Food, and Faux Pas

by Samantha V?rant
 

See All Formats & Editions

Say bonjour to a whole new way of life!

Take one French widower, his two young children, and drop a former city girl from Chicago into a small town in southwestern France. Shake vigorously... and voilá: a blended Franco-American family whose lives will all drastically change.

Floating on a cloud of newlywed bliss, Samantha couldn't

Overview

Say bonjour to a whole new way of life!

Take one French widower, his two young children, and drop a former city girl from Chicago into a small town in southwestern France. Shake vigorously... and voilá: a blended Franco-American family whose lives will all drastically change.

Floating on a cloud of newlywed bliss, Samantha couldn't wait to move to France to begin her life with her new husband, Jean-Luc, and his kids. But almost from the moment the plane touches down, Samantha realizes that there are a lot of things about her new home—including flea-ridden cats, grumpy teenagers, and language barriers—that she hadn't counted on.

Struggling to feel at home and wondering when exactly her French fairy tale is going to start, Samantha isn't sure if she really has what it takes to make it in la belle France. But when a second chance at life and love is on the line, giving up isn't an option. How to Make a French Family is the heartwarming and sometimes hilarious story of the culture clashes and faux pas that , in the end, add up to one happy family.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/13/2017
Verant combines one part second chance at romance, on part travelogue, and nearly three dozen recipes in this heartfelt account of how she reconnected with a lover 20 years after their affair and started life over in France with an instant family. When Verant was 19 and traveling through Europe, she had a brief encounter with a Frenchman named Jean-Luc. Not ready for something serious, she never responded to his ardent letters. Two decades later, divorced and in debt, Verant reached out to Jean-Luc, who had been widowed, recently divorced his second wife, and become the solo parent of his two young kids. The undeniable chemistry was still there, and a year later they married and moved outside of Toulouse. In her new environment, Verant had to navigate the laborious bureaucracy and red tape that come with being a foreigner living abroad, learn how to speak French more fluently, and understand vast behavior and cultural differences (such as the French habit of being very direct and making intense eye contact). Most critically, she had to figure out how to bond with her stepchildren, who were still dealing with grief and distrust after Jean-Luc’s ill-advised second marriage. In the end, as Verant warmly writes, food—and her cooking—gave her a sure-fire way in with the family, as they often prepared meals and dined together. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"An honest, heartwarming-and at times-heartbreaking account of the struggles that occur when you dare to make your dreams come true." - Janice MacLeod, author of New York Times bestseller Paris Letters

"Love has no boundaries inSamantha Verant'shonest and courageous memoir about leaving it all behind to marry her French husband. How to Make a French Family is a testament to her perseverance to adapt to a new life in Southwest France. In the tradition of Seven Letters from Paris, readers will laugh, cry, and cheer for Verant until the final page." - Susan Blumberg-Kason, author of Good Chinese Wife

"A charming and insightful memoir about what follows happily ever after. The fact that Samantha's quest to create a new family is set in France (and filled with recipes) makes it all the more delicious!" - Jennifer Coburn, author of We'll Always Have Paris

"How To Make A French Familyshares the ups and downs, good, bad and funny moments of building a new life and family in France, never letting us forget that in the end, love saves the day." - Kristen Beddard, author of Bonjour Kale

"Samantha Vérant dishes up a funny and tender memoir in How to Make a French Family. The setup is pure fairy tale but the tale's power is in the ever-after. Vérant's story is genuine, romantic, sometimes heartbreaking, and, in the end, as wonderfully satisfying and rich as the French cuisine detailed on its pages." - Michelle Gable, New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment and I'll See You in Paris

"Like its author, Samantha Verant's new book is sweet and sassy, told from the heart. Her story of creating a new family and becoming a different kind of mom is brave and vulnerable. A tale of what happens when we go looking for our best lives and best selves." - Elizabeth Bard, New York Times bestselling author of Lunch in Paris and Picnic in Provence

"Verant combines one part second chance at romance, on part travelogue, and nearly three dozen recipes in this heartfelt account of how she reconnected with a lover 20 years after their affair and started life over in France with an instant family. " - Publishers Weekly

"...charming and witty....Verant's memoir touches on universal, real-life themes, like love, loss, and family, while mixing in plenty of delicious French flavors (and actual recipes) that make for a tasty read that's true to the heart.

" - Booklist

Kirkus Reviews
2016-12-27
A determinedly positive memoir about starting life over as mother to a family in southwestern France.Vérant's first memoir (Seven Letters from Paris, 2014) chronicled the author's fairy-tale romance with a handsome French rocket scientist she had met 20 years earlier and then pursued after a divorce and a business failure left her in debt. This book is the happily-ever-after follow-up, in which the two marry and the author takes responsibility for her new husband's two children, preteen Max and teenage Elvire. Rugby-playing Max took the new situation in stride; "porcelain doll" Elvire was less taken with her new stepmother. In short, peppy chapters, the author describes the stages of her adjustment to life in France. She got her driver's license, made some expatriate friends, gradually increased her knowledge of the language, learned to scuba dive and ski, wrote her first memoir, and, along with her husband, renovated their house. As a "glass-is-half-full, not empty kind of girl," Vérant touches on but doesn't explore deeply the emotional pain of miscarriage. Instead, she provides accounts of family vacations, holiday get-togethers, the self-created "Stepmother's Day," and delicious meals, for some of which she supplies recipes, including one for "frushi" (French sushi). Her husband, Jean-Luc, can be "a little bossy," but they never "argue, yell, or fight," instead employing the "bonobo strategy" of using sex to defuse anger. The author's descriptions tend toward the generic: one friend's husband is "tall, dark, and handsome," and another's "dashing and charming." So do her insights: "life is a bowl of cherries, even when there are pits"; "even with its twists and turns, nature eventually takes its course." Those looking for a breezy read about a transplanted American in France may be satisfied, but the book dwells more on Vérant's personal life than on observations of the world around her.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781492638490
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
04/04/2017
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
771,561
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x (d)

Meet the Author

Samantha Vérant is a travel addict, a self-professed oenophile, and a determined, if occasionally unconventional, French chef. She lives in southwestern France, where she's able to explore all of her passions, and where she's married to a sexy French rocket scientist she met in 1989, but ignored for twenty years.