Pollyanna Will Never Be French

My name is Lyda, and I will never be French.

Oh, how I wanted to be. I studied French in high school and college, and wrote horrible and pretentious poetry in French. I practically memorized “Le Petit Prince“; I still have the copy that I bought in high school. I wanted to perform Molière in French. I wanted to move to France and haunt the Louvre. I wanted to wear black and sit in smoky cafes and look mysterious and tragic. I wanted to have a passionate love affair with a mysterious Frenchman.

I wanted to be like Gene Kelly in “An American in Paris.” And dress and dance like Leslie Caron. Who now owns this charming inn in Burgundy. Let’s all go there, ‘kay? But I digress.

I just knew France would be like this.

So of course I grabbed up “I’ll Never Be French (no matter what I do): Living in a Small Village in Brittany” by Mark Greenside when I spotted it in the New Books section of the library.

The American author did not want to be French, but was dragged to Brittany by a girlfriend. He reluctantly fell head over heels for the people and the place. The relationship didn’t last, but his love affair with France did.

His book is a funny, quirky, personal account of learning to live in a country where he doesn’t understand the customs or people, doesn’t speak the language, and doesn’t know how to do the simplest things. It’s a story about learning to let go and trust – neighbors, acquaintances, strangers – and becoming a part of something strange and different.

I love this book, and highly recommend it, whether you’re a Francophile or not. And this counts toward my completion of Pollyanna’s Reading in Wonderland Challenge , fulfilling challenge #3: 

“How doth the little crocodile”:  Read a biography or autobiography about someone whose life is/was vastly different than yours. Or, read a history book or historical fiction about a completely different time or place.

C’est magnifique.



One thought on “Pollyanna Will Never Be French

  1. Pingback: Pollyanna Savors a Musketeer or Three « Pollyanna Rainbow Sunshine and the Needles of Doom

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