Tout Sweet: Hanging Up My High Heels for a New Life in France [NOOK Book]

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 ...

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

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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.

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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.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402261190
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 66,389
  • File size: 2 MB

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 toutsweet.net and Twitter @mimipompom1.

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Table of Contents

Note From the Author v

Chapter 1 Which Way to Portsmouth? 1

Chapter 2 The House That Found Me 17

Chapter 3 Miranda 31

Chapter 4 Full Moon 51

Chapter 5 Let My New Life Begin 71

Chapter 6 Camping Out 88

Chapter 7 Moving In 106

Chapter 8 Lonely in La Rochelle 121

Chapter 9 Patisserie and Poetry 127

Chapter 10 Word Games 143

Chapter 11 Miranda's Birthday 155

Chapter 12 Pink Cocktails in Paris 170

Chapter 13 Progress 179

Chapter 14 The Antiques Dealer of Angouleme 191

Chapter 15 The Long, Graceful Good-bye 207

Chapter 16 Summer 228

Chapter 17 Pie Night 239

Chapter 18 A Minx in Anzac 250

Chapter 19 Christmas Day 274

Chapter 20 New Year's Eve 288

Chapter 21 Gone 300

Chapter 22 The Bridge to the Ile de Ré 308

About the Author 313

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 49 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 9, 2011

    Chick-lit style memoir; a fun summer read

    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.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2012

    Love this book ~ love the following books as well. Can't get en

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Tout Sweet

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 17, 2011

    Tout Sweet: Book of Secrets Review

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2014

    Josh

    "I love you."

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2014

    Josh

    He smiles softly

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2014

    Josh

    Sorry have been very busy.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    Mike

    ....

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    Ro Jason

    Okay. Hey its Madelyn btw

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2014

    Josh

    "I promised you I am not going anywhere and I'm keeping that promise."

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Zack and brendan to ciara and liz

    Hi guys! Why are you guys here???

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Ciara and liz

    They sit down together

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2013

    Matt

    What's up? I have returned!

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    Jordan

    *Walks in.*

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2013

    Sammy

    ((Okay well it's Sammy)) "ugh, Mkz"

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2013

    Jason

    Sorry tal and I gtg bbs

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    Pearson

    *walks in listening to music*

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    Andrew

    Waves and goes to sit by piper

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    Violet

    Idea! Post your schedule in res three!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2013

    A random person

    (I am acutally in high school in rl)

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 49 Customer Reviews

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