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Synopsis

This is one of those rare books that rates as a genuine discovery. About 3 years ago Mike Hinden and Betsy Draine mentioned that they were thinking of writing a travel memoir about their summers in their house in southern France. Though neither had attempted this kind of book before I encouraged them to try it, and we discussed various approaches. Last fall the first draft of the memoir materialized, and exceeded any vague expectations I had. The tone was assured, the narrative compelling, and the intangible quality of the best travel books--romantic but never schmaltzy, purely personal but also observant enough to capture the feel of a place--was already obvious. I suggested ways in which the memoir could be strengthened and three months later a very polished revised draft came in. The two outside reviews confirm my feelings. This is a a natural travel memoir that should attract the audience that has made "Under A Tuscan Sun" and Peter Mayle's books so popular, because it does what those books do: it feeds into our vicarious dreams of living in a parallel, more perfect universe, and it helps recreate another world. As an addtion to our already strong autobiography list, and as a strong foundation to our growing list in food and travel books, this joint memoir also makes eminent sense.

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