Friday, July 8, 2016

Book Review and Giveaway - Finding Fontainebleau by Thad Carhart

Book Synopsis
Finding Fontainebleau recounts the adventures of Carhart and his family—his NATO officer father, his mother, four siblings, and their dog—in the provincial town of Fontainebleau, France, in the 1950s. Dominating life in the town is the beautiful Château of Fontainebleau. Begun in 1137, fifty years before the Louvre and more than five hundred before Versailles, the Château was a home for Marie-Antoinette, François I, and the two Napoleons, among others, all of whom added to its splendors without appreciably destroying the work of their predecessors.

With characteristic warmth and humor, Carhart takes readers along as he and his family experience the pleasures and particularities of French life: learning the codes and rules of a French classroom where wine bottles dispense ink, camping in Italy and Spain, tasting fresh baguettes. Readers see post-war life in France as never before, from the parks and museums of Paris (much less crowded in the 1950s, when you could walk through completely empty galleries in the Louvre) to the quieter joys of a town like Fontainebleau, where everyday citizens have lived on the edges of history since the 12th century and continue to care for their lieux de mémoire—places of memory.

Intertwined with stories of France’s post-war recovery are profiles of the monarchs who resided at Fontainebleau throughout the centuries and left their architectural stamp on the palace and its sizeable grounds. Carhart finds himself drawn back as an adult, eager to rediscover the town of his childhood. Finding Fontainebleau imagines a bright future for this important site of French cultural heritage, as Carhart introduces us to the remarkable group of architects, restorers, and curators who care for and refashion the Château’s hundreds of rooms for a new generation of visitors. Guided by Patrick Ponsot, head of the Château’s restoration programs, the author takes us behind the scenes and shows us a side of the Château that tourists never see.

Add to Goodreads badge

Purchase Links


My Review
I love books set in France and anything about life in the 1950's, so knew I would enjoy Finding Fontainebleau.  It is truly a delight.

The memoir begins with young Thad and his family moving to France because of his father's work with NATO.  Readers will discover the charm of Fontainebleau and life in France as Thad and his family do.  The tone of the book is warm and nostalgic. 

Later, when Thad moves back to France as an adult with his wife and young children, he explores Fontainebleau again and shares fascinating details about the history, art, and architecture.

This is such a lovely book, with beautiful descriptions and places you will enjoy visiting as a reader.  The writing is exceptional.  (I really want to read more by this author now!)  I recommend it very highly.  
Author Bio
Twenty-six years ago THAD CARHART moved to Paris with his wife and two infant children. He lives there now, with frequent visits to New York and Northern California. His first book, The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, appeared in 2000, published by Random House. Across the Endless River, a historical novel, came out in 2009 with Doubleday.

Giveaway
One lucky reader will win a print copy of Finding Fontainebleau.  This giveaway is open worldwide and ends 7/15.  The winner will be notified by email, and needs to respond within 48 hours.  The author or his publicist will mail the book directly to the winner.
I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.

23 comments:

Kim hansen said...

Sounds like a good read.

Kim hansen said...

I have only lived in the states but my mother moved us around alot.

Marjorie/cenya2 said...

I have only lived in different provinces, never a different country though.

scaro said...

I have only lived in the USA. I would like to live in Ireland.
Carol Smith
penelope223(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sandy Klocinski said...

I have never lived in a different country. I would never live anywhere but the good old USA if I had a choice but if I had to pick a different country I would go for Niue (an island in the South Pacific ocean), the only country in the world with free wireless Internet access throughout the country.

Annamarie Voss said...

I have never lived in a different Country, I did live in Dutch Harbor for 4 years and it felt like another world. My Husband and I have talked about living in France for a few months when we retire, that way we can travel all over Europe.

joenkristy5 said...

Ive never lived anywhere but the U.S. But I have visited Ireland and love that place. If I had a chance to move there I would, Its a beautiful place, and very peaceful!!

Laura said...

Yes, I've lived in another country before. I would definitely be interested in living in another country also in the future. Not sure which one. :)

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

This book is at the top of my TBR - it looks SO good!

Thanks for being a part of the tour.

teffers8464 said...

I've never llived in another country, and have no desire to do so. I'm very happy where I am.

cindiizzy said...

I have never lived in another country. I would love to live in the Carribbean.

Dianna said...

I lived in 2 other countries when I was a baby, but I don't remember either one.

Lauren-Olivia Wood said...

I would live in France!

lana simanovicki said...

I like where I am

Gabrielly Margutti said...

I like where I am now.

Darlene said...

I have never lived in another country, if I were to choose one it would be Sweden.

Julie Waldron said...

I have never lived in another country but have visited a few. I'd like to live in Germany.

Farrah Shumway said...

I have never lived in another country. I'm good living here in the U.S.A☺ I wouldn't mind visiting other countries but not living there.

Jerry Marquardt said...

I have never lived in another country other than the US. I would not like to live anywhere else. I would pick the country of the US first.

laurasloves said...

I have lived in several different countries as my husband is in the military and so was my dad. They were nice to visit but no place is better than home in the US.
Laurie Emerson
lauraemerson17 at yahoo dot com

Emi Pearce said...

I have never lived in another country but I would like to live in Japan to find out more about my mother's culture.

Buddy Garrett said...

I haven't lived in another country. I would like to live in Iceland.

lilyk said...

I have never lived in another country. I'm not sure I would like to.