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Home and Dry in France


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Home & Dry in France

(George East)

Price (piece): 7.99
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The first book in the best-selling series begins with failed publican, dressmaker and professional bed-tester George East and his wife Donella acquiring a windfall from a shady deal and setting out in search of a picture-postcard cottage in Normandy. Tellingly sub-titled A Year in Purgatory, this enchanting book is a sometimes hilarious and always entertaining account of how one couple set out with a dream, and eventually ended up home and (fairly) dry at The Mill of the Flea. It has become a classic of its genre, and been enjoyed by an army of general book readers.

At last, it seemed, we had found our dream home in France.

However, and as our agent pointed out, there were several minor obstacles and drawbacks to the purchase of the delightful cottage. One of them was the potential and sudden appearance of the original owner뭩 son in a bath towel at regular intervals.

This situation provided us with another valuable example of the diversity, complexity and sometimes sheer bloody-mindedness of French property laws. One of the many dating back to the Reign of Terror (and still terrorising unwary would-be foreign buyers like us) this particular beauty aimed to stop property falling back into the clutches of the greedy ruling classes. The original idea was to stop the head of any household signing away his family뭩 birthright by selling the roof over their heads without full consultation and approval. In application, it now meant that virtually every blood relative, friend or casual aquaintance of the owner had to agree to the sale of any property, be it ever so humble.

In the case of the fisherman뭩 cottage on which we had set out hearts, the owner had secured the approval of all his family to the sale, with the exception of his eldest son. After extensive and expensive consultations with the local lawyer, mayor and anyone else in the village with an interest in the matter, a truly French compromise had been reached. The son would agree to the sale and benefit from his share of the proceeds, but insisted on retaining the right to pass through our cottage to get to the family bathroom, which happened to be at the end of the terrace the fisherman was selling off in bits.

This would give the son the rite and right of passage to stroll through our property at any time, night or day and whenever nature or a desire for a wash-and-brush-up called.

Given the traditional rural French attitude to personal hygiene, our agent reassured us, it was not likely that we would be too inconvenienced by the brawny young man strolling through our bedroom or kitchen clutching a loofah and bar of soap, but it was just as well that we should be aware of the potential problem

Customer Reviews:

Lesley Goodwin  (Saturday, 23 February 2008)

Rating: 5
As with all George East books this is totally un-put-downable. I am sure we can all empathise with George's mishaps and successes in some way, I certainbly can! His books all gave me a positive shot in the arm, as well as a darned good laugh to cheer me up and motivate me to do a bit more of my own writing.

texas john  (Tuesday, 16 October 2007)
Rating: 5
Home and very dry humour, With the numbers of British people flocking to France to set up home (or second homes) there is a sizeable audience that cannot fail to find empathy in George East's classic tale of coq ups. But, this book is more than a Francophile's fancy, for it is a laugh a minute for anyone. Never cruel, yet wickedly observant of French life and the French themselves, George East devotes as much time turning wit on his own misfortune as he does on his new French neighbours. This book is a charming must-read that is unpretentious and affectionate. Neither a how to do it (or even not do it), nor a travelogue, Home and Dry in France defies genre beyond the all embracing term humour. In short, it is a very funny book that leaves the reader sorry when they reach the end.

Kristine M. Hendrickson  (Friday, 22 June 2007)
Rating: 5
Kristine M. Hendrickson Superbly crafted, and wittily written. This should be on the Best Seller list. George East's views of the people around him are humourous and insightful. He has obviously spent a good deal of time observing the quirks of human nature. He is able to point out to others the foibles of their fellow citizens, with himself as the most eccentric of the lot.

Mrs L W Dickman  (Thursday, 22 March 2007)
Rating: 5
Absolutely hilarious from start to finish, We laughed so much all the way through, Never the less we picked up on lots of do's and dont's for buying property in France.

Mel Jones  (Friday, 17 March 2006)
Rating: 5
Nice one George A real giggle of a book, this. George East relates the story of his attempts with his wife to buy a house in Normandy. This is a story of a love affair with property, place and people complete with all the traditional plot features: falling in love, making commitments and dealing with treachery and self-doubt. Artfully told with a laugh in most lines, this is a book that is over far too soon. Fortunately there are the sequels.

R. van Zonneveld  (Friday, 02 December 2005)
Rating: 4
George East is a master letting you like what ever he does. It doesn't matter if it's enjoying a glass of wine, driving around in Normandy, buying a cake or sleeping through a fire. To read his book(s) is a relief when compared to many other books about buying a house abroad. Mr East has a great sense of humour, even for a foreigner like myself( Dutch). This 1st book is the perfect start of a great series of books, which remain book after book of high quality! After reading Mr East's books, I would love to live in the Cotentin!

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