Encore Provence

Encore Provence: New Adventures in the South of France
-by Peter Mayle
226 pages (June 8, 1999)

You've got Mayle!

Peter Mayle's "Encore Provence" ...the third novel in his Provence series. His books are always great fun; reading them is like going on vacation. In this installment of the series, Mayle (an Englishman by birth) writes about returning to Provence after a four year absence, when he and wife moved back to England. The novel - so vivid and rich in its explanation of the smallest detail of life in Provence - makes one yearn to be transplanted to that picturesque landscape. 

The characters are true to life and wonderfully portrayed. As I made my way through its pages, Mayle's cheeky humour (almost sarcastic at times) had me giggling surreptitiously on the bus this morning. What better way to start off a Friday morning? More to follow...including rating and reaction to the book in entirety.

Another success in non-fiction, Encore Provence is agile and amusing (aren’t all of Mayle’s works?). The author takes a bit of an off-the-path route in Encore, opting to focus more on tourist attractions and eating establishments, rather than chronicling his actual experiences with Provençal life. The book ventures beyond the confines of Provence and into the surrounding areas. Suffice it to say, it is more of a lavish tourist guide and less of a novel. Granted, it makes very agreeable reading. In my humble opinion, however, Encore doesn’t reach the brilliant apex of Mayle’s previous two masterpieces: A Year in Provence, and Toujour Provence, both of which I found equally enjoying. Regrettably, Encore definitely lacks the pinnace of its predecessors. Nonetheless, it’s redeeming qualities are still evident in it’s many entertaining anecdotes, and it’s indisputably informative pages when it came to “touristy” points of interest (to those who long to know the *real* Provence).


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