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As husband-and-wife pensioners, Brits Terry and Monica Darlington sail their barge down the English canal system, along the Thames, past London, to Paris on the Seine and down the Rhône to Carcassonne, France. Along the way, they introduce the folks who make their homes on the water. They avoid teenage vandals, fail to teach their beloved whippet, Jim, to hunt rabbits and sail across the English Channel after nearly every informed acquaintance advises otherwise. The mixture of British vernacular and boating terms in this book originally published in England will leave some readers adrift. Yet the style echoes the author's clear zest for living in the moment. Frequent flashes of wit and poetic prose capture poignant emotions. The addendum of French phrases entitled "French in Fifteen Minutes" nicely sums up differences in the French and British cultures and makes clear the author's own mistakes while navigating a foreign language and culture. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.