Encore Provence

Encore Provence is the second sequel to Peter Mayle’s A Year In Provence, after Toujours Provence. A Year In Provence is all about Mayle, an Englishman, and his wife buying a house in Provence, and their adventures and misadventures in renovating it. Mayle seems to lose some of that sense of the-outsider-looking-in in Toujours Provence,Β which is a chronicle of the author and his wife’s experiences in Provence, as they slowly get accustomed to living there. In Encore Provence, Mr. and Mrs. Mayle are not outsiders at all; they are very much insiders, locals of Provence, giving the readers glimpses into the inside world of the people there.

If I had to describe Encore Provence in one word, I would say it is ‘delightful’. The book is a collection of essays on various topics – a school that teaches one how to make perfumes, the essential elements in a perfect village, the tale of a handsome butcher and tips to spend a summer afternoon in Provence.

I had such a lovely time reading this book! It charmed me to no end, made me laugh and smile, brought out the wanderlust in me, and made me ache to visit the Provence that Mayle so clearly loves. I want to see those lavender beds that he writes about, smell that thyme growing wild on the hills, talk to all those eccentric and interesting people, fall in love with that beautiful countryside, and gorge on all that delicious food.

Encore ProvenceΒ is a fitting accompaniment to Mayle’s two earlier books about Provence, and I loved it just as much as I did the other books. Considering that Mayle has written three books about Provence, one would think there would be a lot of repetition and overlapping of ideas in them, but it is not so. Toujours Provence is different from A Year In Provence, and Encore Provence, again, is something new.

I love the way Mayle writes. There is not much description of scenery and flowery language and adjectives, but rather an emphasis on his own feelings, his own experiences with things and people in Provence. That said, the prose is not cold or unfeeling; it very much touches you. Mayle’s sarcastic wit and humour are present in all three books, making them fun and interesting reads.

Encore Provence surely gets a place in my most favourite travel books of all times. Do grab a copy, you guys! If you love reading about places, cultures and people, you will love this one, too.

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20 thoughts on “Encore Provence

  1. Peter Mayle *is* so delightful – when I went to Provence, I went to the village he lives in now and hung around at the cafe where he is supposed to hang around and peered at everyone’s face. Lucky I didn’t thrown out. but didn’t get to meet him 😦

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    1. @Charukesi

      I loved the three books by Peter Mayle that I have read so far. His writing is indeed delightful.

      Oh, I would love to have the opportunity to visit the place that an author like him frequents. πŸ™‚ Pity you didn’t get to meet him. 😦

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  2. The list you shared above with Amit is part of one I made for myself after reading your posts and others’ in the blogworld.I loooooooooooooooooove travelogues and you know it!
    This is definitely on my list πŸ™‚
    “I want to see those lavender beds that he writes about, smell that thyme growing wild on the hills, talk to all those eccentric and interesting people, fall in love with that beautiful countryside, and gorge on all that delicious food.”
    – I can totally feel what you feel when you say that even though I haven’t read the book.Such magic !

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      1. @Amit

        It is very difficult to choose one favourite travel book for me. πŸ™‚ Here are a few favourites:

        1. A Year In Provence – Peter Mayle
        2. Toujours Provence – Peter Mayle
        3. Encore Provence – Peter Mayle
        4. Under The Tuscan Sun – Frances Mayes
        5. A Year In The World – Frances Mayes
        6. A Thousand Days In Venice – Marlena de Blasi
        7. In Tuscany – Frances Mayes

        Happy reading!

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    1. @Chattywren

      A Year In Provence is about an English couple buying a house in Provence and settling in. Toujours Provence is about their getting acquainted with the ways of life in Provence. Encore Provence is more of an insider’s view into life in Provence. I would suggest that you read the first two books before you read Encore Provence, if you haven’t already.

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

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