Picnic in Provence, Elizabeth BardThis second memoir from the author of Lunch in Paris may have the makings of a cliché, following the well-known trope of an American carving out a new life in France. But with ease and grace, Bard overturns any stereotypes that could threaten her down-to-earth and highly readable account of moving to rural Provence, starting a family and opening an ice cream shop.

With an optimistic tone, Bard charts her experiences of early motherhood and a parallel search for fulfilment in a style that’s conversational, confessional – sometimes even heart-breaking – but always real. Her story’s personal yet universal and depicts Provençal life in all of its sun-kissed simplicity. Highly recommended. ★★★★

Summersdale, £8.99

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