The Feasting Season by Nancy Coons, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Feasting Season
  • Alternative view 1 of The Feasting Season
  • Alternative view 2 of The Feasting Season

The Feasting Season

3.6 3
by Nancy Coons
     
 

Meg Parker, an American travel-book writer, lives in the Lorraine countryside with her two small children and a neglectful husband. Domestic life is beginning to take its toll until Meg is offered her dream assignment: to write a guidebook about French history. Unfortunately, there is a catch. Jean-Jacques, a scruffy and imperious photographer, has been

Overview

Meg Parker, an American travel-book writer, lives in the Lorraine countryside with her two small children and a neglectful husband. Domestic life is beginning to take its toll until Meg is offered her dream assignment: to write a guidebook about French history. Unfortunately, there is a catch. Jean-Jacques, a scruffy and imperious photographer, has been assigned to the project. As the dueling pair visits each region in search of the past, what they find is the colorful, food-filled present—the festive bullfights in the Camargue, the sacred gypsy pilgrimage at Stes-Maries-de-la-Mer, the pictographs and lightning storms of Mount Bégo. And over the course of mouthwatering meals—of lamb daube, paella and rosé, bull steak and anchioade, Brebis and strawberries—their antagonistic collaboration turns into a fiery love affair.

Meg's notions about history—about what we preserve and how we accept the new—evolve, and in the end, she must reconcile her two lives and decide what to hold on to, and what to let go.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

This debut novel, a travelogue/love story by the author of a number of European travel books, has much to offer in its description of food, wine and history, but little to say about amour. American-born travel writer Meg Parker lives with her husband and two children in a centuries-old farmhouse in the Lorraine region of France. With her fruit cellar as her home office, Meg is working on another guidebook and a French text when she receives an offer to write a book on French history. Her goofy British husband, Nigel, seems happiest drinking with his friends, her children are needy, and after little deliberation, Meg accepts the offer. Her relationship with the book's photographer, Jean-Jacques Chabrol (J-J to his amis), is stormy from their first e-mail exchange. The conflict between the two (he, a typically passionate Frenchman, she, the typical overeducated American living abroad) is as predictable as their explosive love affair. Their steamy, France-hopping days and nights are punctuated by Meg's visits home and her stabs at deciding whom she wants more: Nigel or J-J. Coons's lush novel is most seductive when dealing with French gastronomical history, but the love story never removes itself from the boilerplate. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
From an American travel-book writer who lives in France, a first novel about an American travel-book writer who lives in France and agrees to write a book on French history that turns into something much more sexy. Thirty-two-year-old Meg lives in Lorraine with her British husband Nigel and their two small children. Meg is bored not only with unbearably stereotypical Nigel-he spouts lines of Shakespeare ad nauseum, is a rugby fanatic and has no appreciation of Meg's serious French cooking-but also with the travel and language guides she writes. Then her dream book contract, to write a historical guide, falls in her lap. She makes hasty babysitting arrangements since Nigel can't be trusted to take care of the kids and sets off. The only hitch is that she must travel with a photographer. Jean Jacques or J.J., as he is called by his friends-and he has many everywhere since he comes from a famous wine family-has little interest in Meg's academic approach to France's history. He is all about its living traditions, especially regarding food and wine. With his graying ponytail and Arab scarf, J.J. is as romantically French as Nigel is ploddingly British. So readers will not be surprised when the antagonism between Meg and J.J. shifts into mutual passion that quickly deepens into love. Despite small whiffs of guilt at leaving her children for long stretches, Meg goes on one jaunt after another, eating, drinking and fornicating across some gorgeous French countryside. Unfortunately, Nigel is not a complete dolt. When he shows up with children in tow at Agincourt, Meg bolts. She hides away in a rural village to finish the book and decide between family responsibility and amour. Finally, she returnshome, but when another assignment with J.J. comes along, she is ready. Poor Nigel. Coons is adept at earthy sensuality. But plot and characters are excruciatingly predictable.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565125193
Publisher:
Workman Publishing Company, Inc.
Publication date:
07/13/2007
Pages:
382
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Gorgeous and utterly romantic. Meg's journey through the French countryside—and to what ultimately will complete her as a woman—kept me enthralled to the very last page. . . . Bravo to Nancy Coons for spinning such an honest, hopeful, not to mention sensual, tale!" —Marsha Mehran, author of the international bestseller Pomegranate Soup

"Prepare yourself for a delectable romp through the French countryside in this wonderful novel. You'll enjoy all the glorious tastes and pleasures that France has to offer as well as taking an enticing journey into the affairs of the heart. This book made me homesick for France."
—Katharine Davis, author of Capturing Paris

Meet the Author

Nancy Coons is the author of Escape to Provence, Escape to the Riviera, Fodor’s Provence and the Cote d’Azur, andFodor’s Switzerland and a contributor to guides on France, Italy, Belgium, and Luxembourg. Her commentaries on French life have aired on NPR’s All Things Considered, and she has contributed to Saveur, the International Herald Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. She lives in a three-hundred-year-old farmhouse in the Lorraine region of France with her husband and two daughters.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

The Feasting Season 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The characters. The cities. The countryside. Everything was portrayed so vividly in this book. I felt the passion between Meg and JJ. I felt her disdain for returning home to her husband. It is a great piece of writing and I hope that Nancy Coons will soon come out with another one of these books. Simply amazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I truly enjoyed reading this book. This descriptions of France and the food are mouth-watering. The characters seemed real, filled with joys and foibles. I didn't want it to end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The cover and the flyleaf made it sound like a great mix of food, travel and romance. It was in fact a tired old story of a female writer having an affair with her photographer. Boring plot, sterotypical characters, and some just down right disgusting details -do we really need a description of the main character using the bidet?