i need a vacation: France

Another rough day at work, and I find I'm dreaming of a vacation. A good, long journey somewhere far away. Something magical and transformative, with a big surprise that seems to fall in my lap from nowhere. Like Max's. 

Max Skinner is a dark-suit-wearing deal-maker in London, and his life has become as drab as the rain that falls in the grey skies outside of his office. But out of this drizzle of unhappiness comes a ray of sunshine, an estate in France with a vineyard. Peter Mayle's A Good Year tells the story of a man who has to revisit his past to discover his future. 

The Provencal estate, his late uncle's and the place Max spent his summers as he was growing up, is somewhat rundown, but Max has decided to fix the place up before he sells it to pay off his debts. But as in life, things are never so easy. Add in a gorgeous estate lawyer, a friend with the wine expertise to think he can turn the vineyard around, a beautiful American who may or may not be Max's cousin, and a cast of colorful locals, and you've got yourself a fun story. 

Peter Mayle's novels may not be the most intricate or masterful, but they are always a fun caper and a light, enjoyable read. And the way he talks of his beloved Provence makes you want to close your eyes and feel the French sun on your cheeks, take in deep breaths of the wild herbs and lavender, and experience a French feast that will make your head spin. Just thinking about this book makes me want to renew my passport and shop online airline deals. Read this charming book yourself and see if you don't find yourself dreaming of the French countryside. 

Honestly, I feel better already. So this week's blog is now a weeklong journey. Today, France. Tomorrow, Italy. See you there!