Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France

Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France

4.3 36
by Karen Wheeler
     
 

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In her mid-thirties, fashion editor Karen has it all: a handsome boyfriend, a fab flat in west London, and an array of gorgeus shoes. But when her boyfriend, Eric, leaves she makes an unexpected decision: to hang up her Manolos and wave good-bye to her glamorous city lifestyle to go it alone in a run-down house in rural Poitou-Charentes, central western

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Overview

In her mid-thirties, fashion editor Karen has it all: a handsome boyfriend, a fab flat in west London, and an array of gorgeus shoes. But when her boyfriend, Eric, leaves she makes an unexpected decision: to hang up her Manolos and wave good-bye to her glamorous city lifestyle to go it alone in a run-down house in rural Poitou-Charentes, central western France.

Tout Sweet is the perfect read for anyone who dreams of chucking away their BlackBerry in favor of real blackberrying and downshifting to a romantic, alluring locale where new friendships–and new loves–are just some of the treasures to be found amongst life's simple pleasures.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this buoyant read, Wheeler describes how she led a glamorous but empty life of "blissful complacency" as a London magazine editor, filled with beautiful parties, countless shoes and dresses, and plans to marry a Frenchman. A year later, at 35, she's without a fiancé or a job and has bought a fixer-upper with no heat or hot water in a remote French village—"a long way from anyone's idea of the charming French house." To recover from the lingering devastation of the breakup, Wheeler decides she needs to begin anew. A pampered city girl, the plucky author adapts surprisingly well to the rural lifestyle. In the absence of a supermarket or decent restaurants for miles, she lives on bread and cheese for months until she has a functioning kitchen, and becomes adept at home cooking, varnishing floors, building a fire, negotiating with countless French workmen, and even beheading a turkey for Christmas dinner. Wheeler offers a charming chronicle of transforming her unloved and neglected maison into a real home and repairing her broken heart in the process. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
"If you are in the mood for a relationship memoir that takes place in a foreign country, this is the book for you."

"I loved Karen's straightforward writing and her humor made me chuckle more than once."

"I felt as though I walked alongside Wheeler as she explored her new run down house in the village or the countryside she so clearly describes throughout the book."

"Her writing is clear and concise yet descriptive, and crisp."

"The author wrote with a sensuality for life and for home that made me long to have something like that."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781402261183
Publisher:
Sourcebooks
Publication date:
08/01/2011
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
346,787
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Karen Wheeler is a former fashion editor for the Mail on Sunday and current writer for the Financial Times 'How to Spend It' magazine and London's Daily Mail. Her work has appeared in the Evening Standard and You magazines, Sunday Times Style and numerous international publications. Visit Karen at www.toutsweet.net and Twitter @mimipompom1.

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Tout Sweet 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
chelleyreads More than 1 year ago
Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France is a memoir written in an entertaining chick-lit style that I really like. Who doesn't wish they could just quit their nine-to-five job and live the simple life in an idyllic, peaceful European countryside. I certainly have and it was fun living vicariously through Karen Wheeler. Though I enjoyed her recounting all her misadventures in renovating her house Maison Coquelicot ("house of the wild poppy")--which made me think that if a Manolo-wearing girl like Karen can do all that DIY she did I can too--it was her neighbors that were the most fun to get to know. There were a lot of crazy characters like Miranda who drank like a fish and Victor the estate agent who had a crush on Karen, among others. There were a lot of drama going on and there's even a surprising twist (or more like a big reveal) in the end. I equally appreciated her descriptions of the French countryside, the little village of Villiers and the house, Maison Coquelicot, itself. Having said that, it did start slow and I wasn't able to get into the story until about two-thirds of the book when Karen finally moves to France and I meet more of her neighbors. This memoir has the similar feel of Eat, Pray, Love but I found Tout Sweet to be a lot more fun to read because it's wonderfully written in that Karen tells her experiences and story in a way in which the reader is like her best girlfriend. It's funny and charming and I recommend it if you're looking for some light summer reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book ~ love the following books as well. Can't get enough of this author's great writing of move from England to rural France and everthing that follows.
grumpydan More than 1 year ago
Karen Wheeler leaves her harried life in England to move to the quietness of the French countryside; mostly to escape the memories of a relationship that ended. She writes about her move, the restoration of her new home and the friends she meets in this memoir. Doesn't most everyone wish they could get away from the rat race and move to a simpler place? I know I would. She keeps the book light-hearted and it is funny at times. This one definitely falls into the genre of chick lit and reminded me slightly of Under the Tuscan Sun. An easy and enjoyable read.
bookofsecrets More than 1 year ago
Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France is Karen Wheeler's memoir about giving up city life in London for the French countryside. For many years, Karen had a successful career as a fashion editor. At 35, she had a glamorous life and the perfect man - Eric. But, when talk between them turned to marriage, Eric bolted. So, a heartbroken Karen decides to give up it all up and move to a small village in France. She buys a house in serious need of renovations. (No indoor bathroom! No kitchen floor!) Along with the house comes an assortment of very colorful neighbors to keep her busy. Memoirs are not my usual genre of choice, but what drew me to this book was the fantasy of moving someplace new and starting over, and this lucky woman was able to do it. For most people (like me), it's only a dream, so it was fun to live vicariously through Karen. I enjoyed the rich descriptions of the life in her village and its quirky inhabitants. As much as I liked the subject, I had a difficult time getting into the story. It didn't grab my attention and pick up the pace until half way through. There were some references to British places that were lost on me (Marks & Spencer? I had to google it!) and plenty of French words and phrases, but that didn't bother me too much. Karen's move to France wasn't just about a change of scenery. It was also about letting go of Eric and moving on from the heartache. It took her a long time to deal with her emotional baggage. One quote from the books that stuck with me was by her friend Dave: "But you have to remember...that you can't run from unhappiness. You just take it with you." I would recommend this book to fans of chick lit and fans of all things French. I give Tout Sweet 3 out of 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is like listening to a broken country music song over and over again. The story did not change, plot was recycled dating story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Je regrette. I just didnt care about Karen. Devoid of charm.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you enjoy home remodeling and decorating, you will enjoy this book. It has romance in it too. Is a quick read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*walks in listening to music*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kisses him back*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wanders in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry tal and I gtg bbs
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in looking dazed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*she smiles bac as she walks to biology without a biology partner*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walked in
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Looks aroud.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey everyone
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She walks in, dragging a backpak full of books behind her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*laughs and puts her book away*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pulls out her guitar and plays 'You & I' by One Direction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nvm wrong violet
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I love you."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He smiles softly