Lovely PW Review for How to Make a French Family...

How to Make a French Family: A Memoir of Love

"Verant combines one part second chance at romance, one part travelogue, and nearly three dozen recipes in this heartfelt account of how she reconnected with a lover 20 years after their affair and started life over in France with an instant family. When Verant was 19 and traveling through Europe, she had a brief encounter with a Frenchman named Jean-Luc. Not ready for something serious, she never responded to his ardent letters. Two decades later, divorced and in debt, Verant reached out to Jean-Luc, who had been widowed, recently divorced his second wife, and become the solo parent of his two young kids. The undeniable chemistry was still there, and a year later they married and moved outside of Toulouse. In her new environment, Verant had to navigate the laborious bureaucracy and red tape that come with being a foreigner living abroad, learn how to speak French more fluently, and understand vast behavior and cultural differences (such as the French habit of being very direct and making intense eye contact). Most critically, she had to figure out how to bond with her stepchildren, who were still dealing with grief and distrust after Jean-Luc’s ill-advised second marriage. In the end, as Verant warmly writes, food—and her cooking—gave her a sure-fire way in with the family, as they often prepared meals and dined together. (Apr.)" - Publisher's Weekly

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