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Review continued

But is it what they thought it would be? How could it not be? Its France after all.


The book deals with the reality of the parents dream and the impact it has on them as a family.


What about the children being traumatised about having to go to a school and not understand social norms or speak the language?


How does your husband’s business, based back in Australia, cope with him being 10,000 km away?


What about your marriage; how will it cope with the stress of relocating, new strange, unusual routines, unhappy children, an exhausted husband and non -French speaking mum?


I think if you have small children this book will resonate. The author practices what she calls ‘best-guess parenting’ and I liked that she recognised early on that they might not have really understood how hard the adventure was going to be, especially on their children.


Slowly the bits start to form into a new shape for the family – petit friends are made, head lice provide the opportunity to learn new medical words in French, (community French language lessons provide lots of funny scenes in the book), the cobblestones that rip bike tyres and shoes become ordinary and discovering new cultures in their little French village add to the story of international citizenship of this planet.


Life happens as they struggle to get through each day; slowly the days start to get brighter. The author’s self-reflection was authentic and gentle.


Written in a series of short chapters packed with humour, the family does what it does best – pull together to cope.  


I loved this book – it was full of family and emotion served with a huge portion of humour.  Rachael writes about day-to-day joys and disasters, and I think most people (parents, or non-parents) would get it.


I particularly liked the metaphor of the lists of things to be organised and done before they travelled, to France and then back from France with each list reflecting their fears of going to a strange country and their sorrow at leaving that country and the people they were now.  To purchase or read more click your preferred supplier below.

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