A first for the Booktrail today – a three step booktrail around the fictional Fogas in the French Pyrenees. All written by Julia Stagg who will be popping by for a slice of French sponge cake tomorrow. Best tell you about these fab reads so we can get baking then!
Set in Fogas, A fictional village in the French pyrenees, this is a story of an English couple, Paul and Lorna, moving in to a rural French community and trying as best they can to fit in. Fogas is a village you want to happen upon and stay for a while such is its charm despite it being more rural than rural itself –
There was no shop, no bar and even La Poste had been sensible and placed the commune post office in La Riviere. So apart from the cluster of houses which formed the village and the old communal washbasin with its continually running tap, Fogas was simply the base for the town hall
The young English couple have just bought the local Auberge, much to the horror of the locals who fear the English and their cooking in particular.
‘The Auberge has been sold to an outsider’
‘But why is a given that the restaurant will fail just because they are foreigners?’ demanded Christian
‘Because,’ Pascal relied in his lofty manner, ‘the new owners are English!’
The local mayor wants the property for his brother-in-law and is determined to drive the English out. As the couple settle down to life in France, we as the reader share their frustration with the French red tape, the rural attitudes, the shrugging of the French shoulders –
Merde merde and double merde
Johnny Hallyday makes a guest appearance too – no French village knees-up would be complete without him. And for those not familiar with Monsieur Hallyday, this gives an introduction to French culture you will never forget!
Want to know more?
The then Parisians return is your next read, starting off where L’auberge ended.
The focus shifts away from Paul and Lorna and almost immediately we meet a new character `Le Parisian’ who wants to make – gasp – changes – gasp – in the Epicerie and local bar. Stephanie, the waitress at the Auberge makes a welcome return – now getting her garden centre of the ground. She has a lot on her mind at the moment –
Stephanie Moran had never killed anyone before. Not that she knew of anyway.
What an introduction to the book! Stephanie it turns out is quite a character. When she tries to explain the intricacies of French law regarding the inheritance rules of the Auberge to Lorna-
Are you saying that if I died tomorrow, Paul wouldn’t inherit my half of the Auberge? Even though he’s my husband?
‘Yes, ‘e would. But only ‘alf of your ‘alf. The other ‘alf of your ‘alf would go to your family. And as you ‘ave no children, zat means your parents.’
In The French Postmistress, the focus shifts to Véronique, the postmistress, and her frustration concerning the new village post office. When Annie moans at the fact that the new office might involve getting foreign letters, Veronique steps in –
‘You wouldn’t have to! The town hall would rent the space and supply an employee to run it. Me!’ Veronique grinned at her own ingenuity.
Fogas is, as usual, a busy little place and life is full of twists and turns and no just those of the mountain roads. With the controversial government plans to reintroduce bears to the mountains, things in the village get even more heated and excitable than usual. There is also a special guest appearance by The Tour de France which is a nice touch.
The booktrail is not surprised people go looking for Fogas. When you read the books you will see it come alive before your very eyes.
For more information on Julia’s books, please visit her website at http://www.jstagg.com/fogas.html Be sure to stop over tomorrow for a slice of cake. Julia will be stopping by! See you then!