Book Review: “Taking Root in Provence” by Anne-Marie Simons – A Blissful Escape to Southern France

Book Review: “Taking Root in Provence” by Anne-Marie Simons – A Blissful Escape to Southern France

Photo by Simon Spring

Posted July 11, 2024

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Anne-Marie Simons’ “Taking Root in Provence” is a delightful and engaging read that transports readers to the heart of southern France through a series of charming vignettes. The book provides a peaceful escape from reality, capturing the essence of Provence with its tranquil and blissful content. Each vignette offers a glimpse into the serene beauty and cultural richness of the region, making it an ideal literary retreat.

The initial vignettes vividly describe the serene and picturesque landscape of Provence, as well as the positive culture shock experienced by Ms. Simons and her husband. From France’s affordable healthcare system to the sweltering summer days and the delectable cuisine, the couple immerses themselves in a new and fascinating way of life. These early chapters are filled with their wonder and joy as they discover the delights of French living.

One of the standout aspects of the book is its impeccable irony. While the title “Taking Root in Provence” suggests a seamless integration into the idyllic life of southern France, the reality proves to be more complex. When Ms. Simons and her husband finally settle in Aix-en-Provence, they encounter unexpected challenges such as inflation and oppression. This stark contrast between their initial expectations and the eventual reality adds depth and authenticity to their story. By the end of the book, Ms. Simons draws a thought-provoking comparison between the South of France and New York City, highlighting the universal complexities of life.

Ms. Simons’ passion for life and travel shines through her writing, inviting readers to join her on an adventure in a foreign land. The vignettes are rich with personal anecdotes and vivid descriptions, making readers feel as though they are exploring Provence alongside the author and her husband. Additionally, the book includes a list of thirteen simple Provencal recipes crafted by her husband, Oscar. This culinary inclusion enhances readers’ understanding of Provencal culture and way of life, providing a sensory experience that goes beyond the written word.

Taking Root in Provence” is a delightful and accessible read, perfect for those seeking an escape to the French countryside. Its combination of personal narrative, cultural exploration, and culinary delights makes it a “must-read” for anyone with a passion for travel and a love for France.


taking root in provence book cover

Taking Root in Provence book cover

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