Be prepared to be hungry after all the lovely descriptions of french food!! He also is somewhat bored with life in his village except for the elaborate meals in which time has ignored the microwave generation. He comes up with what he assumes is a brilliant plan of being a matchmaker as he knows all there is about love having lost his Emilie years ago to a much wealthier suitor. Guillaume changes his tonsorial shop to Heart's Desire and tests his service with his best friend, Yves Leveque, who suffers heartburn from his failed relationships.
Guillaume believes she came home for him so the matchmaker works on himself. The characters make the story line fun to read as Guillaume arranges dates that fail yet somehow assist his clients with what they need and not what they want in a sort of turning upside down the belie the customer is always right. Anonymous More than 1 year ago A small number of residents in a French village living their daily lives and interacting with each other.
The writer presents the story in great detail and humor. I got to know the characters, the customs and the location well enough that I want to visit the area some day. A reader is sure to enjoy this book.
The Matchmaker of Perigord
QueenOfMay More than 1 year ago Loved this story and these characters. Alll the little tongue-in-cheek observations in the narrative and conversations were like discovering chocolate drops in an otherwise tasty and nutritious granola bar, enhancing the pleasure of the read. Perfect for the beach. It was a wonderfully delightful escape from the humdrum of daily life, and I got completely, wonderfully, fantastically lost each time I picked it up. This book does remind me of Chocolat, and that is certainly a good thing. I have happily recommended this book to my friends and family, and look forward to revisiting it again in the future.
I can't wait to see what Julia Stuart does next! Why aren't there more little books like this? I only read one chapter or so and found it annoying. I usually like books with a French "flavor", but for some reason I couldn't warm to the characters. With so many books on my to-be-read list, I just didn't want to continue. The two words I would use to describe the story are "sweet" and "tedious".
Julia Stuart does a lovely job of capturing the charms and quirks of a small French village and its inhabitants. One almost feels as though they are watching a play with a cast of 33, each person acting out their strange persona and telling their own story all at the same time.
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In other words, the reader is getting a lot of details thrown at them at every stage of the story. Again, I say the book is sweet because of the overall plot; a failing village barber sets aside his life's craft to become a matchmaker. In a small town, there isn't much selection for matching so apparent hilarity ensues. But the story gets so bogged down in the details that it becomes irritating and by the time I finished the last page, I was glad it was over.
Rating: 2. Suggested With: The ability to speed read. Fourpawz2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago This Early Reviewer book is the mildly amusing story of a middle-aged barber turned matchmaker living in the southwestern French town of Amour-sur-Belle. Unmarried, Guillaume Ladoucette has only ever loved his childhood sweetheart, Emilie Fraisse, who moved away from Amour-sur-Belle when still a child. Shy with women and never able to court anyone in her place, Guillaume has lived for years with the regret he feels over not having answered the letter Emilie wrote to him after she moved away from town.
He decides to open a matchmaking business even though he knows nothing about it. Most of the story concerns itself with the matches Guillaume makes for his customers, his own love for Emilie which comes to life once more when she moves back to town, making her home in the filthy old chateau that she bought specifically because its dirtiness will give her plenty of work to do, and the necessity for a public shower in the town brought on by the drought.
I found three odd things about this book. I thought that was a little unusual. The third thing is the food. I am very used, in books of this type, to reading beautiful descriptions of the local food. The food always sounds so good! I wish I could be there so I could have some of it. Many of the foods in this book do not sound very good at all the main exception being the pastry. Donkey sausage?! All excited over her date, Emilie takes a plate of broiled kidneys to bed with her.
That said, I found, after not too long a while, that I could almost feel that I was in Amour-sur-Belle. The author brought out the atmosphere of the village very well, I thought, and I felt that I was there. And even with the eccentric people and the oddball things that happened, I had a nice stay.
He has been an excellent barber for his small French town for twenty years. Secondly, after the first few, it is easy to lose interest.
Always with an innocent "Bring something to eat? When they inevitably get around to eating, they offer each other tastes. Cue declination, "But then I wouldn't have any room for This, Stuart is good at.
Food is interwoven throughout the story as a warm, welcoming escape; emotional signals for the characters, delicious fantasies for the readers I love that, unlike most other "food in fiction", it is not actually a main focus. Her parents forced her to participate their trapeze act. He saw the fear in her eyes in the audience. He came to congratulate her. She dotted over him for the rest of his life, the trapeze act instilling a paranoid fear of death in her for all her days. Unfortunately, census representatives send for a surprise double-check.
How he spends all day elsewhere, across town, another town, the same room- choosing pastries, researching his many calendars that guide his gardening, locating better, newer, thicker, more colorful paper, vivifying the candle store next door, having dinner, examining the contents of his desk hutch, etcetera- anything, rather than write his love letter. This is magical realism, yes. But it is stretched a little far.
The Matchmaker of Perigord: A Novel
The physical ailments resulting from a broken heart. The fact that Guillame has not yet embraced his lover because he has been afraid to respond to an innocent letter she sent him as a teenager.
How Lisette Robert's stunning beauty had been a lifelong burden for her attracting numerous suitors that are inevitably disappointed, as nothing could ever live up to her physical attributes. To be fair, it is quite lyrical. Crossing into pose poetry, utilizing multiple literary devices. With her frequent switch from prose to prose poetry, readers may find it difficult to appreciate Stuart's writing, unable to switch mindsets. The potential is here; what she needed was a good editor and more practice at her craft. Evidence of this can be seen in her sophomore novel.
Aug 24, Rachel rated it it was ok Shelves: women-authors , When we had the book club discussion about Matchmaker , a lot of people complained about the almost-bludgeoning repetitiveness of the author's description, and the intense, almost obsessive focus that was given to painfully minute details. Though others complained, I felt that this endless repetition and obsessive focus on the minute was necessary as a way of showing the reader, bludgeoning them with it if need be, that these villagers' lives are completely and utterly joyless, repetitive, and When we had the book club discussion about Matchmaker , a lot of people complained about the almost-bludgeoning repetitiveness of the author's description, and the intense, almost obsessive focus that was given to painfully minute details.
Though others complained, I felt that this endless repetition and obsessive focus on the minute was necessary as a way of showing the reader, bludgeoning them with it if need be, that these villagers' lives are completely and utterly joyless, repetitive, and minute. It may be the late 80s in the outside world, but in Amour-sur-Belle it is the s, and they've been stuck there, isolated from the outside world, without hope, without love, without beauty, in a mind-numbing cycle of purposeless repetition. Once we've been flooded with all this microscopic inanity, we can fully understand the earth-shaking changes that will come to the village of Amour-sur-Belle.
All the village's inhabitants have been spinning their wheels, going nowhere, for an entire lifetime; how much joy there will be when they are finally allowed to move forward! Oh how relieved we as readers are when something new finally starts happening and characters finally start reaching beyond their prescribed comfort zones. Would we be nearly so relieved, so happy for the villagers, if we didn't have as good of an idea of the depressing repetition of their lives to begin with?
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If I could compare this book to a type of poem, I would say that it is a very large sestina, and at regular intervals we see the same details, the same snippets of conversation or description pop up, but in different patterns, and at the end there's a cathartic tercet that ties everything neatly together and finally gives the reader closure. It's like a highly sophisticated French Groundhog's Day , except with Guillaume Ladoucette and a chicken instead of Bill Murray and a groundhog.
About the chicken: I think that the reason it makes him smile at the end is because finally, FINALLY, he has something bigger and better in his life to think about than that cursed chicken and her inconvenient eggs. He no longer sleeps like a dead man, his hands stiffly at his sides, like a man already in his coffin, he sleeps like a man who is finally living.
And that damned chicken doesn't matter with the love of his life finally at his side. I found this book to be "precious".
The author has a great vocabulary and she seems intent on finding ways to work in every word that she has learned.