Samantha Verant‘s How to Make a French Family ($22.50, Raincoast Books, Sourcebooks) was a really nice read.

The memoir is a love story 20 years in the making.  Samantha, then 19, is on a European trip with a friend when she meets Jean-Luc Verant at a Paris bar and spends a whirlwind day or so with him before leaving with a promise to keep in touch, which she doesn’t. Fast-forward 20 years and one failed marriage, and Samantha writes a series of blog posts and letters to Jean-Luc explaining why she broke her promise about keeping in touch. They rekindle their relationship, eventually meet, get married in California before flying to France with Jean-Luc and his two children to start a new life there.

Through Verant, we get to learn what it is like to be an immigrant in a country completely different from her own. We watch as she struggles to learn French, integrate, fight homesickness and become an instant stepmother to two children. We get to enjoy delicious-sounding meals alone (recipes are included in this book), meet friends and family and watch as Samantha honestly discusses her dreams and hopes for motherhood.

It’s Samantha’s honestly and humour that makes this memoir such a great read, and one I recommend. In a world that can be terrible and scary, it’s nice to read a story filled with challenges, but also laughter and love.

 

A copy of this book was provided by Raincoast Books for an honest review.                        The opinions are my own.

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