How do you plant leeks in cement-hard French soil, impress Gallic neighbours with your non-existent gardening credentials, and survive a seven-hour celebratory communion lunch? An Englishman à la Campagne is a wonderfully warm and witty follow-up to the author's account of his first year living in Paris. Now broadening his affectionate embrace to include the myriad facets of the French countryside, Sadler makes you laugh, makes you think, and makes you love the place.
Sadler is English. Those around him are country French, and they are not impressed. He has just moved into a farm in the Loire valley. While the cottage is passable, the garden is an Amazonia of six-foot-high lettuces. But Sadler has eyes on winning the village garden contest to prove his worthiness among the august peasantry. Sadler is far happier savoring the food and wine, or serving as a foil to the natives--he knows when taking a poke in the eye is worth it to get two slaps on the back...He attends a ribald communion lunch. He starts a perverse search for an ugly village in this region of blowsy charm. He decides to triumph in the garden contest by growing sexy vegetables like John Malkovich (don't ask). The English take on the French: formidably droll with a touch of the wacko. -- Kirkus Reviews