A Very French Christmas: The Greatest French Holiday Stories of All Time, by Dominique Fabre, Gustave Droz, Alphonse Daudet, Paul Arène, Irène Némirovsky, Jean-Philippe Blondel, Victor Hugo, François Coppée, Guy de Maupassant, Anatole France
julsmarshall's review against another edition
This was up and down for me. A couple of the stories were great, festive and thoughtful, quiet and heartwarming. More were sad, dark and showed a starker side of humanity. And there was one that was so horrid and racist I couldn’t finish it. Maybe some were perfectly French, but not for me. I did like the #audio narration.
Ridiculous. I'm sure it seems ridiculous. I've just read A Very French Christmas: The Greatest French Holiday Stories of All Time. I'm not in France. And it most certainly isn't December.
What's going on?
There are some people who always send you to the good books. Emma, of the blog, Words and Peace, and the organizer of France Book Tours, always sends me to the good books. I just couldn't resist a book of French Christmas stories. Even in August.
So why should you hear about A Very French Christmas? You, especially you, who are not a fan of stories about France or (even) Christmas?
That's easy to answer. A Very French Christmas is really about France or Christmas. Yes, there's a definite French-ish feel to the stories, and all of them have a little dash of Christmas in them. But these aren't baked-potato-loaded-with-French-Christmas-fixings stories. No one really likes those sorts of stories, do they? These are not French stories. These are not Christmas stories. They are just good stories.
The first story in the book, for example, is a story of a man who really doesn't like Christmas. It's his wife who likes it, his wife who makes him get together with the family every year, to celebrate with food he doesn't care for and gifts he doesn't want. And he does so every year, even after his wife is long passed away. Until the Christmas comes where his wife gives him one last Christmas gift, a gift he is very happy about.
Yes, these are good stories. More than that, they are remarkably good stories. So good that I think I'll go back and read them again.