Betsy Draine Michael Hinden
- Title: A Castle in the Backyard: The Dream of a House in France
- Author: Betsy Draine Michael Hinden
- ISBN: 9780299179441
- Page: 180
- Format: Paperback
A Castle in the Backyard chronicles the French adventures of American couple Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden, who in 1985 embarked upon a dream After falling in love with a small stone house set beneath a medieval castle in Perigord, they bought the tranquil getaway located in one of the most beautiful river valleys in Europe In this delightful memoir Betsy and Michael oA Castle in the Backyard chronicles the French adventures of American couple Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden, who in 1985 embarked upon a dream After falling in love with a small stone house set beneath a medieval castle in Perigord, they bought the tranquil getaway located in one of the most beautiful river valleys in Europe In this delightful memoir Betsy and Michael offer an intimate glimpse of a region little known to Americans the Dordogne valley, its castles and prehistoric art, its walking trails and earthy cuisine, its people and traditions and describe the charms and mishaps of setting up housekeeping thousands of miles from home Insightful and poignant, this memoir chronicles the transformation of Perigord as development poses a challenge to its graceful way of life, and evokes the personal exuberance of starting over, even in mid life.
Recent Comments "A Castle in the Backyard: The Dream of a House in France"
Never taken a French class in my life, never dreamed of one day going to France beyond the natural desire to just go someplace beautiful and different in general. I never would have picked this book up if it wasn't for my librarian who recommended her current favorite to me; which is how I came to pick up A Castle in the Backyard. I've always had a little wanderlust and immediately found myself intrigued, especially since Madison,WI is practically in my own backyard and the authors both taught a [...]
Not what I expected - thought it would be more about the house itself, but I like how it turned out.For any French fanatics, it just makes you want to up and join them! Loved the description of the town/villages and the FOOD! With my love of Madison in particular - having lived there twice, I'd go back in a heartbeat if I could - it was nice to see them mention it and their work and the university a bit.
I would finish a chapter and "come to" realizing that I was in my air conditioned house in Maryland, not in summertime Castlenaud. And I would feel very disappointed! Very absorbing tale of their adventures living in a small Medieval town.
This is another in the series of books I am currently reading about Americans who buy houses in Europe.This couple are English professors at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and they buy a house in the village of Castelnaud, France (recently featured in the New York Times Sunday travel section).This book is less lyrical than Frances Maye's books and less humorous than Peter Mayle's book but engaging nevertheless.I am not sure why I enjoy these books so much but I find reading a chapter bef [...]
Recommended by the landlord of the 500 year old stone house we rented in Beynac-et-Cazenac because it's one of the neighboring villages, it intrigued me. I wanted to get the feeling of the Dordogne Noir and so borrowed this from the local library. As I read it I kept wanting to highlight it, so bought the book. Loved it, (and I did highlight my not-to-be-forgotten parts) and enjoyed sharing it with friends. If you are intrigued with SouthWestern France, the Dordogne region, French food Enjoy!UPD [...]
I greatly enjoyed this memoir as it was well written and I almost always enjoy memoirs by people who have lived in France. This time it was southern France, rather than Paris, so the scenery was different and the people seemed different, as well. The book spurred an interest in me to visit the south.The authors are former UW professors of English, so that added to my enjoyment. I appreciated the references to Madison as well as the lush descriptions of the French countryside in the department of [...]
i couldn't put it down. loved reading of how the thought grew, of buying a summer house in france, as they were professors in wisconsin and had their summers somewhat free. the writing is well-done and the stories, interesting. i kept putting it down and picking it back up. i found myself writing down place names to look up on picasa so that i could see the places they were describing. definitely worth reading.
Wanderlust inducing! Daydreaming right now about a visit to southern France. When Betsy Draine and Michael Hinden wrote this memoir, they were professors at the University of Wisconsin in Madison where I live. So I'd read a review when the book first came out and finally got around to reading it. Their vivid descriptions and alliterative language really make the Dordogne region and its inhabitants come to life.
Betsy and her husband, Michael, are college professors. They frequently travel to Europe and decide to buy a house in the Dordogne region of France. This book details the experiences they had searching for a house, buying it, and remodeling it. Then the years they enjoyed staying in it, even with all the outside influences. Who knew that having a castle in your backyard could lead to so many problems? Entertaining.
I loved Mayes Under the Tuscan Sun (book, not movie so much) and thought this couldn't compete -- so wrong. Completely engaging. I felt like I was there and fell in love with the townspeople, the community, and the adventure. I have never much thought of going to France; that has changed! And today, I am making the walnut cake! :)
I didn't finish this one, but I got what I wanted out of it. A married couple (both American English professors) search for, find, and refurbish an authentic stone house under the ruins of a castle in the Dordogne Valley of France. The search, purchase, and renovations of the house made for an entertaining read, but when the narrative turned towards the townspeople, I lost interest.
As a retired high school and middle school French teacher, I am pretty keen on all things French, but this book missed the mark. Rich in description, there were still parts that were dry as a bone. They did meet some lively characters, but unless one is somewhat avid about France, I think they will find this book a bit of a chore to read.
A delightful and pleasant read. The authors were down to earth, very real people. They made village life seem peacful and so appealing. It was interesting to learn what owning a summer home entails in France entails.
A 3 for no pictures! Reading this book preceded 2 trips to France and the Dordogne valley. We visited the neighborhood and think we may have spotted the house, based on the story of the. Catapult, but who knows with NO PICTURES!
This is just okay - somewhat uneven. The first half - when they are concocting a plan to buy a French house, embark upon the search, get settled in, etc. - is far more entertaining than the later parts. But it was amusing enough, I guess.
It's been several years since I read this, but I still have fond memories of what I experienced as I read the couple's account of finding their dream summer home in France and establishing friendships there.
This was an interesting introduction to the Perigord region of France. I wish there had been pictures, but I did learn a lot about people there, even though I Suspect that has changed a lot since the book as written. I don't expect to get there in this life, so this was a fun read.
On my Kindle. A fun escape. I'm an armchair ex-pat. Would probably never do anything like this, so it's fun to read about someone else's experiences buying a home in another country. Kind of like House Hunters in print.
Given that the part of France where this couple bought their house is one of my favorites, I really liked this book, but I would imagine someone who wasn't as familiar with the region might not like it quite as much. It's not nearly as engaging as "A Year in Provence" for example.
Makes me want to move to France
Great descriptions of Southwestern France seen through the eyes of an engaging American couple.
I enjoyed this book. An enjoyable read. Lamenting the loss of what France was and has become.
Good summer read that encourages daydreams of running away and buying that French villa.
Delightful story of summers in southern France, where a couple of professors buy a house and learn to live in a charming village
A wonderful book! Quite inspiring and thorough in the high points of the region.
A dream of a house in France.
This sounded interesting, but previous political feelings disrupted my enjoyment of this travelogue/house maintenance book.
Nice book off the sale table. Couple summer in Dordogne and buy an old house. The friends they meet, year after year.
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