May 2021 - I'll Never Be French
I hope you all enjoyed While Paris Slept! With no meeting this month, I thought I'd announce our next book a bit earlier than usual, so you can all get a head start! We will, of course, discuss both books at the May meeting.
I am hoping that everyone will be vaccinated by our next meeting date, and that our COVID numbers will drop enough by that point to resume our usual in-person meetings!
Please find the details below for the next meeting:
Location: Lavender Hill Designs
When: Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Time: 6:30 pm
Book: I'll Never Be French (No Matter What I Do) by Mark Greenside
When Mark Greenside—a native New Yorker living in California, political lefty, writer, and lifelong skeptic—is dragged by his girlfriend to a tiny Celtic village in Brittany at the westernmost edge of France in Finistère, or what he describes as "the end of the world," his life begins to change.
In a playful, headlong style, and with enormous affection for the Bretons, Greenside shares how he makes a life for himself in a country where he doesn't speak the language or understand the culture. He gradually places his trust in the villagers he encounters—neighbors, workers, acquaintances—and he's consistently won over and surprised as he manages to survive day-to-day trials. From opening a bank account and buying a house to removing a beehive from the chimney, he begins to learn the cultural ropes, live among his neighbors, and make new friends.
Until he came to this town, Greenside was lost, moving through life without a plan, already in his 40s with little money and no house. He lived as a skeptic who seldom trusts others and has an inclination to be alone. So when he settles into the rhythm of this new French culture—against the backdrop of Brittany's streets surrounded by gorgeous architecture and breathtaking landscapes—not only does he find a home and meaningful relationships in this French countryside, he finds himself.
I'll Never Be French (No Matter What I Do) is both a new beginning and a homecoming for Greenside. It is a memoir about fitting in, not standing out; being part of something larger, not being separate from it; following, not leading. It explores the joys and adventures of living a double life. He has never regretted his journey and, as he advises to those searching for their next adventure, neither will you.