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The French Village Diaries: top Francophile book reviews – Heads Above Water

MyFrenchLife™ – MyFrenchLife.org - French book review - Heads Above WaterWe love discovering interesting new books on all things French. Lifestyle, cooking, travel – you name it, we’ll check it out. In this new series, Jacqui Brown reviews and shares her top picks when it comes to French-themed books.

This week, she’s reviewing ‘Heads Above Water’ by Stephanie Dagg.

Heads Above Water: don’t miss out!

Somehow this book slipped down the back of my bookshelf, which is quite something for an ebook, so apologies to Stephanie as I really should have read it months ago. However, I was the one who missed out as it is a very entertaining read.

There are many ‘new life’ in France books out there and some might say too many, but I say bring them on!  They all have a different story to tell, they all have a unique style, some are better written than others, some are more humorous than others and I’ve read my fair share of them all.

A hilarious account: expat life

MyFrenchLife™ – MyFrenchLife.org - French book review - Heads Above WaterThis is one of the better ones, very funny and their story is different. I don’t know too many llama farmers with fishing lakes too, do you?

Stephanie had me crying with laughter right from the start of the book with the language faux pas and then there was the composting toilet issues, followed by the randy llamas and lots more funnies as they settled into their new life in rural France.

Being an expat is certainly a life changing experience and not always easy, and I really liked that Stephanie brought a very personal touch to her story even including little extracts of the children’s diaries from their first few months. It made me wish I had got Ed to do something like that too, but he was only three when we moved.

Heads Above Water: staying afloat in France

MyFrenchLife™ – MyFrenchLife.org - French book review - Heads Above WaterAs well as telling their story of house hunting, buying, moving from Ireland and settling in with only basic facilities, she explains many local traditions along the way and gives plenty of information on some of the many French bureaucratic traditions too. Despite being here for eight years I learnt some new things, although I still find bells with wings just a little creepy.

Stephanie is one of those seemingly like-minded women who writes things I enjoy reading and one day if we happen to find ourselves on the same cafe terrace I’m sure we could sit and natter for hours, and I would be a very happy lady.

Why don’t you treat yourself to her book? Link to Amazon here.


Have you read ‘Heads Above Water’, if so, what did you think? Can you relate to her experience? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments box below.


Image credits

  1. © Jacqui Brown
  2. When llamas go bad, by Dolovis via Wikipedia

You can also read the interview with Stephanie Daggthe author of – Heads Above Water – the book reviewed above. This article was first published on The French Village Diaries and republished here with permission as part of our content collaboration with Jacqui Brown.



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