I have to say it wasn't the most cheerful of subjects but the language wasn't too difficult. It is a delightful collection of stories handed down through generations of a family living in the Languedoc. You will spot a tendency to choose books from central France in this section because that is the area I know best. That, of course, makes it especially appealing for me. Of the others, I should perhaps point out Simon Schama's "Citizens". It is less of a light read, much more dense than most of the others, but it is beautifully written. I very rarely read anything from this category, it's just not my thing, but in the interests of this article, I am currently reading the last in the list.
It tells the story of a single mother living in Paris, in search of a new Mr. The author does live in Paris and it shows. She describes parts of the city in detail and this appeals to the place-spotter in me. The others in this table I have yet to read, and I doubt whether I will, but I list them because I know people do enjoy the genre. I felt I had to add these two because they cover pretty much the same area and subject matter but one was written in the s and the other in the s.
They make a lovely pair to compare and contrast. So there you have it: It has been a huge labour of love, compiling this list, but I've enjoyed every minute, even while wondering if it would ever be finished.
Crime and Mystery in France
I don't suppose it will ever be finished really, and I'm happy for any suggestions for additions, if you want to make any in the comments below. I'll be reading at least some of these over the coming months so that I can tell you more about them. Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.
Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites. It is a very unique story set in 's Paris. I thought the book was simply called 'France' and by Noel Baker but I can't find anything corresponding to this. I saw that play a long time ago. But I love Only on my own as my favorite song. I didn't even see the movie version a few years ago.
Well, I had to draw the line somewhere and I didn't like Les Miserables shh, don't tell anyone. I found it really hard to decide what to include, I must say. It's very detailed and useful. How come Les Miserables isn't listed on the list? Wasn't it based on a novel? Other product and company names shown may be trademarks of their respective owners.
In Conclusion So there you have it: All I can say now is that I hope you enjoy at least some of the books on my list. Addendum Here are some further titles suggested by a friend: Questions must be on-topic, written with proper grammar usage, and understandable to a wide audience. No I haven't heard of it. I'll look it up.
Somewhere in France by Richard Harding Davis
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Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. Lisa, I also felt the sex scene was completely unnecessary and pretty graphic. The entire book was based on their love and not being able to make it known. However, once together, they consummated their desire. I am also not in favor of sex outside of marriage even in a book.
However, could the author have not let them go to bed and wake the next day without me being told every move? Renata I totally agree with you. See all 3 questions about Somewhere in France…. Lists with This Book. Jan 23, Yasmin M rated it did not like it. I don't get how this happened. The book had so much potential. I mean come on, war, royal girl truck driver! Not so Short pointers as to why this was so incredibly boring and uninspired: I think this is by far the worst romance novel hero I have encountered in a book these past 2 years.
He loves her but her mother scares him.
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He's a self made man not ashamed of his background but he can't help but not be able to offer her himself. He's a brilliant surgeon, but he can't have her around because she distracts him. He's so considerate but he fucks her senseless when her brother's missing in action conveniently also in Paris where there's no one to fire either of them. I don't get it. None of the shit he says is in the least romantic or even eloquent. He's not even endearingly clumsy; he's just fucking irritating. His thoughts are the worst stream of mental vomit you could ever encounter- Oh I want her.
But the curl at the nape of her neck. Oh look her brother's missing. Ugh I am unprepared for sex. YES her perverted friend delivers! But just one day. I think it was the most disturbing romantic scene I've read in a while. I don't think it adds anything for the two main characters I'm trying to like to hump each other, lyrically moan and entwine fingers or body parts.
It really really doesn't. It makes me like them less if anything. And makes me a lot more excited to write a shitty review. At any rate, that wasn't the problem here. The problem was his guidance throughout; seeing as she was a virgin and he just HAD to screw her then and there. Because I don't care to relive it, here are short snippets: I don't even know how to explain how bad the dialogue was in this book. The only explanation for this is that the author probably knows a lot about the history of the time itself and associated detail and she just threw in some characters and a cheap plot to have an excuse to show off all the shit she knows about the war.
So, no one likes this war. It is obviously a lie. I have never,ever encountered a cheaper plot twist. She fucking travels for an entire day to tell said friend in, conveniently, a Ritz double joined hotel room. They go out and talk about flying pigs and machine guns and drink for 3 hours and then suddenly all their previous concerns have evaporated. That sounds right about logical. I could go on forever. Actually no, like 5 more paragraphs or so, but the point is: The only thing I could imagine was two drunk idiots who probably stink and have lice and there is nothing romantic about lice breathing heavily in each other's faces and sharing spit at every turn.
With a guy who probably has a big head don't ask, I just feel like he has a sizable Scottish head suffocating some young mess under him with the grace of a rapist because he has 'needs', not even bothering to explain to her the mechanism or confess his meager love or even offer marriage maybe?. The only thing I enjoyed about the book would probably be Edward. Read this or don't read this. I don't consider my opinion a valid one anyway, but there it is. View all 24 comments. Apr 06, Alicia Prevost rated it it was amazing Shelves: Oh my lord, how I loved this book!!
Honestly, I don't even think I can summarize it or saying anything constructive about it besides, oh my lord I loved it. Couldn't put it down, couldn't stop reading it. It was romantic and dramatic and everything a love story needs to be and was so honest about what a war is like. And Robbie was so One second he was dreamy and wonderful, the next he was horrible at communicating and insecure about his roots.
The Best Books Set in France
Love Oh my lord, how I loved this book!! And Lillie is kick ass. I realize this is a horrible review that tells no one anything but this book is just Heart wrenching, romantic, sweet You won't regret it. View all 3 comments. Med-Hot Lady Elizabeth Neville-Ashford has dreams that go way beyond the walls of her palatial home as well as the aristocratic life she has. With the country now on the verge of War, Elizabeth defies her mother and moves to London where she joins the newly formed Women's Army Auxiliary Corps.
While there she misses the confidences that she had shared with her brother's best friend Robert Fraser. Robert has become a Scottish surgeon and was not of Eliz Setting: Robert has become a Scottish surgeon and was not of Elizabeth's class, but when they meet in France where Robert is stationed in a field hospital their connection rekindles. He admires her determination, but is fearful for her life and he vows to keep her safe even if Robert has to push her aside in order to do so. As for Elizabeth, will she let their love die or keep her hope for a future together alive through war time?
Our heroine Elizabeth bravely defies all convention, by becoming an ambulance driver and leaving her class strictures far behind her. What a great story with what I found to be an accurate portrait of this era, from the stately British mansions to the horrors of the front line of war. A very touching and powerful novel and a great tribute I felt to all the brave men and women whose lives were caught up in the Great War. Somewhere in France had great realism to it and was filled with history, but that didn't take away from the romance between the two characters. A well balanced story all around and a enjoyable "couldn't put it down book!
View all 9 comments. Oct 20, Nancy rated it liked it. If you like romance novels, this will be an appealing book. I like historical fiction and non-fiction so I read the book. I have no real complaints about the book except that it is a romance novel. Of course I like a good romance woven between the pages of a good book with a strong primary story. The Great War and making something of oneself regardless of social and economic origin is a good primary story. I've read other books on this war with a little romance sprinkled in that I liked better. This book gives a good description of the horrors of war and working in a triage hospital.
It also provides plenty of description of a romance that leaves very little to the imagination. I'm not criticizing, I'm just saying that I don't purposely pursue romance novels. If you like romance novels, the historical fiction aspect will add interest. That's all I'm saying. View all 8 comments. Aug 17, Erika Robuck rated it it was amazing. We soon meet Lady Elizabeth and her aristocratic family, and see that this is a young woman suffocated by her station in life.
From learning to drive and working in London, to becoming an ambulance driver for the WAAC, Lily wins over men and women alike, and demonstrates that in spite of her sheltered upbringing, she is strong and capable. Fans of the popular television series and historical fiction will devour this book. Dec 15, Les Romantiques rated it it was ok. She is the daughter of Stuart Robson, an historian. It was the historical background that piqued my interest: Somewhere in France is a pleasant enough read, the beginning is promising, but sadly it never rises above an honest story.
I had a rather good time but thought all the way: My first problem is that the author never really chose a genre. And as they never speak about their feelings, they spend the whole book thinking: One would think that, considering the very extreme situation created by war, that rather uninteresting stage of their relationship would quickly be dealt with and forgotten.
But it drags on until the very end. It seems to me that cataclysmic events such as the First World War changed far more radically the men and women who were dragged into their maelstrom. My second problem is the lack of realism and emotion. The heroes work in a field hospital, we see terrible wounds and deaths, but in a detached way.
Nobody dies who is close to our heroes, not even a small secondary character the reader came to know. Then there is the field hospital where the heroes work, it remains in the exact same place for more than a year. So does the Casualty clearing station. The brother of the heroine, an officer who serves in the tranches, is also posted at the same spot during this long period of time.
As for the field hospitals, I think they followed the offensives too. Descriptions which, in the end, grow a bit tedious of what they eat, what they wear, an improvised dance gathering, the daily care for the ambulances, a day off in Paris. All things that, given the dramatic context, should be of no importance to the characters… or should they? In the wonderful novel All quiet on the west front by Erich Maria Remarque, the author shows us how soldiers in the tranches clung to this kind of small things to avoid losing their minds.
I remember crying over a scene where the hero receives biscuits from his mother and remembers how they tasted before the horror. The comparison is not in favor of Somewhere in France. Compared to these two novels, Somewhere in France reminds me of these old Hollywood movies where the actors played in front of a screen with a flick behind them. Then there are French sentences… French readers know what I mean… they are of course a little bit off.
Aug 21, MAP rated it liked it Shelves: If I had to sum up this book in one word, it would be "predictable. Let me put it this way: Warhorse was less sugary-sweet and more raw and stomach-churning than this book. I dare an author to wri If I had to sum up this book in one word, it would be "predictable. I dare an author to write a piece of historical fiction with a female protagonist where the driving plot ISN'T romance. View all 5 comments. Jun 27, Jaclyn rated it it was amazing Shelves: Giving away a 1 copy to the luck winner on my blog.
Contest runs until January 21st, Super excited to hear that the author is writing a follow up. Robson captures the realities of war, while balancing that out with a lovely romance. Full review closer to pub date Edit - Dec 29th, Somewhere in France is a historical novel set during the turbulent times of the First World War. While romance was a significant part in the nov Giving away a 1 copy to the luck winner on my blog. While romance was a significant part in the novel, the historical detail and realities of daily life during wartime made this far more than a romance.
Somewhere in France was lovely, harsh and optimist all at once, and I recommend it to historical fiction fans that are interested in this period in history. I cannot express how much I loved Somewhere in France! I was initially intrigued because of the romance aspect to the novel, but there was some much more to this story than an unlikely romance between the social classes.
The historical details were fantastic. She was confronted with the effects of war, the destroyed bodies of the soldiers that she transported to the hospital. She also had to deal with the everyday hardships of no rest, no bathing, catching lice, and living without the luxuries that she used to. I felt that we really got a picture of what life was like for those supporting the soldiers on the front lines, and it was completely fascinating.
I also liked the fact that Lily was an ambulance driver rather than a nurse, which is what you might expect to see. Even being an ambulance driver meant that Lily had to learn to drive, something she had never done before. Lily was really a fascinating character in the novel. She had a luxurious upbringing and gave it all up to follow her dreams. I think the author handled this transformation within Lily well, and I believed that someone as sheltered as Lily had been could become the competent and confident young woman that she was by the end of the novel.
As for the romance between Lily and Robbie, it really was swoon worthy in a sweet sort of way. I liked the fact that Lilly and Robbie had already known one another as children, otherwise I would have been tempted to believe that they were swept away in a romance that was started by the wartime atmosphere, but would ultimately not have had much substance. To sum it up, historical fiction fans need to read Somewhere in France. It was a fantastic read and anyone who enjoys a highly atmospheric setting with a good helping of romance will love this one. I feel like Somewhere in France was hinting at this relationship, and I would like to be proven correct.
For full review and read-alikes, see The Book Adventures. View all 4 comments. Mar 12, Celli rated it it was ok. This book started out as a very sweet love story. I anticipated that it would be a contrived sweet little love story but it turned out to be a pretty lame one. A very typical story but not at all realistic. Lilly is sweet and naive and a little pathetic.
The ending is quite abrupt and left me with some questions. This was extremely frustrating when everything else in the book was OVER explained. I don't read romance novels but I imagine this is how a romance novel of the early 's would read Captain Thierry was able to give her later news. Only the day previous, on the boulevards, he had met Count d'Aurillac. He hoped he might tell him that soon his wife also would be in Paris. Marie explained that only the illness of her aunt prevented her from that same day joining her husband. Her manner became serious. So Pierre Thierry told her all he knew.
They were preparing despatches he was at once to carry back to the General Staff, and, for the moment, his time was his own. How could he better employ it than in talking of the war with a patriotic and charming French woman? In consequence Marie acquired a mass of facts, gossip, and guesses.
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From these she mentally selected such information as, to her employers across the Aisne, would be of vital interest. And to rid herself of Thierry and on the fourth floor seek Anfossi was now her only wish. But, in attempting this, by the return of the adjutant she was delayed.
To Thierry the adjutant gave a sealed envelope. With a smile he turned to Marie. The thoughts of Marie, snatching at an excuse for delay, raced madly. The danger of meeting the Count d'Aurillac, her supposed husband, did not alarm her. But what now concerned her was how, before she was whisked away to Paris, she could convey to Anfossi the information she had gathered from Thierry.
First, of a woman overcome with delight at being reunited with her husband she gave an excellent imitation; then she exclaimed in distress: Francis," said the adjutant, "arrive within an hour to nurse the wounded. They will care also for your aunt. The adjutant handed her a slip of paper. Softly, in the felt slippers she always wore, as she explained, in order not to disturb the wounded, she mounted the staircase. In her hand she carried the housekeeper's keys, and as an excuse it was her plan to return with an armful of linen for the arriving Sisters.
But Marie never reached the top of the stairs.
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When her eyes rose to the level of the fourth floor she came to a sudden halt. At what she saw terror gripped her, bound her hand and foot, and turned her blood to ice. At her post for an instant Madame Benet had slept, and an officer of the staff, led by curiosity, chance, or suspicion, had, unobserved and unannounced, mounted to the fourth floor. When Marie saw him he was in front of the room that held the wireless.
His back was toward her, but she saw that he was holding the door to the room ajar, that his eye was pressed to the opening, and that through it he had pushed the muzzle of his automatic. What would be the fate of Anfossi Marie knew. Nor did she for an instant consider it. Her thoughts were of her own safety; that she might live. Not that she might still serve the Wilhelmstrasse, the Kaiser, or the Fatherland; but that she might live. To avert suspicion from herself she saw only one way open. She must be the first to denounce Anfossi. Like a deer she leaped down the marble stairs and, in a panic she had no need to assume, burst into the presence of the staff.
He is using it! I have seen him. General Andre alone remained seated. General Andre was a veteran of many Colonial wars: The great war, when it came, found him on duty in the Intelligence Department. His aquiline nose, bristling white eyebrows, and flashing, restless eyes gave him his nickname of l'Aigle. In amazement, the flashing eyes were now turned upon Marie. He glared at her as though he thought she suddenly had flown mad.
In the room next to the linen closet I heard a strange buzzing sound. I opened the door softly. I saw Briand with his back to me seated by an instrument. There were receivers clamped to his ears! The disgrace to my husband and to me, who vouched for him to you! The officers moved toward the door, but General Andre halted them. Still in a tone of incredulity, he demanded: Marie knew the question was coming, knew she must explain how she saw Briand, and yet did not see the staff officer who, with his prisoner, might now at any instant appear.
She must make it plain she had discovered the spy and left the upper part of the house before the officer had visited it. When that was she could not know, but the chance was that he had preceded her by only a few minutes. For silence, General Andre slapped his hand upon the table. The thought that we had harbored such an animal sickened me, and I was weak enough to feel faint.
But only for an instant. Then I came here. With a sharp gesture General Andre waved Marie toward the door. Without rising, he inclined his head. As she crossed from the hall to the terrace, the ears of the spy were assaulted by a sudden tumult of voices. They were raised in threats and curses. Looking back, she saw Anfossi descending the stairs. His hands were held above his head; behind him, with his automatic, the staff officer she had surprised on the fourth floor was driving him forward. Above the clenched fists of the soldiers that ran to meet him, the eyes of Anfossi were turned toward her.
His face was expressionless. His eyes neither accused nor reproached. And with the joy of one who has looked upon and then escaped the guillotine, Marie ran down the steps to the waiting automobile. With a pretty cry of pleasure she leaped into the seat beside Thierry. Gayly she threw out her arms. The handsome eyes of Thierry, eloquent with admiration, looked back into hers.
He stooped, threw in the clutch, and the great gray car, with the machine gun and its crew of privates guarding the rear, plunged through the park. In the order in which Marie had last seen them, Anfossi and the staff officer entered the room of General Andre, and upon the soldiers in the hall the door was shut.
The face of the staff officer was grave, but his voice could not conceal his elation. There is a wireless—". General Andre rose slowly. He looked neither at the officer nor at his prisoner. With frowning eyes he stared down at the maps upon his table. In silence the officers of the staff stood motionless. With surprise they noted that, as yet, neither in anger nor curiosity had General Andre glanced at the prisoner. But of the presence of the general the spy was most acutely conscious. He stood erect, his arms still raised, but his body strained forward, and on the averted eyes of the general his own were fixed.
At last, as though against his wish, toward the spy the general turned his head, and their eyes met. And still General Andre was silent. Then the arms of the spy, like those of a runner who has finished his race and breasts the tape exhausted, fell to his sides. In a voice low and vibrant he spoke his question. General Andre turned to the astonished group surrounding him. His voice was hushed like that of one who speaks across an open grave. His honor, he thought, was concerned, and without honor he refused to live.
To prove him guiltless his younger brother Charles asked leave to seek out the woman who had betrayed Henri, and by us was detailed on secret service. He gave up home, family, friends. He lived in exile, in poverty, at all times in danger of a swift and ignoble death. In the War Office we know him as one who has given to his country services she cannot hope to reward.
For she cannot return to him the years he has lost. She cannot return to him his brother. But she can and will clear the name of Henri Ravignac, and upon his brother Charles bestow promotion and honors.
The general turned and embraced the spy. He has come home. Before the car had reached the fortifications, Marie Gessler had arranged her plan of escape. Le Printemps lay in their way, and she asked that, when they reached it, for a moment she might alight. Captain Thierry readily gave permission. From the department store it would be most easy to disappear, and in anticipation Marie smiled covertly. Nor was the picture of Captain Thierry impatiently waiting outside unamusing. But before Le Printemps was approached, the car turned sharply down a narrow street. On one side, along its entire length, ran a high gray wall, grim and forbidding.
In it was a green gate studded with iron bolts. Before this the automobile drew suddenly to a halt. The crew of the armored car tumbled off the rear seat, and one of them beat upon the green gate. Marie felt a hand of ice clutch at her throat. But she controlled herself. Fighting for her life, Marie thrust herself against him; her arm that throughout the journey had rested on the back of the driving-seat caressed his shoulders; her lips and the violet eyes were close to his.
Let the Count d'Aurillac look after the honor of his wife himself. The officer sputtered indignantly. The woman exclaimed with anger. Who am I that I should share with others—" The woman interrupted eagerly. In the hall Marie met her elderly companion, Bertha, now her aunt, Madame Benet. Marie shrieked in alarm. When the adjutant had closed the door General Andre began abruptly: She was sick with sudden terror.
But the tolerant smile of the adjutant reassured her. Unconscious of the crisis he interrupted, the orderly on duty opened the door. There is a wireless—" General Andre rose slowly. In an agony of supplication they asked a question. At her side Captain Thierry was smiling down at her, but his smile was hateful.