I just finished reading this book and was it ever a joy! I found myself stopping as I read to find out how much I had left to read—and it was never enough! Some of my favorite memoir topics are travel, settling into a new home/location, and French and France so this checked a lot of boxes for me but if you enjoy none of these that much but love humor with a soupcon of pathos (think furry friends) this is the book for you. Dogs, kittens, trees, renovations, what’s not to like?
This is the continuation of the story of Beth’s, Sam’s (the fat dog in the title), and her (grumpy) husband Jack’s move to the French countryside. The descriptions of their village, home, land, and animals, both domestic and wild, is detailed, nuanced, and almost a visual feast as you read (and there are some interesting smells thrown in too). She details their interactions with the local French people (and even Polish foresters) they encounter whether neighbors, artisans, laborers, or shopkeepers and while she finds the humor in some of the misunderstandings that occur due to cultural differences or language struggles, it is always done in a sensitive way. I think my favorite story is that of a “short” trip on the motorway to pick up pheasants that turns into an epic voyage in searing heat without air conditioning (French roads do that to you).