But you are in france, madame - catherine berry

Book Presentation

Saturday 15 December, 2:30pm to 3:30pm
Alliance Française, Basement

Free event


“You don’t eat sushi outside Paris,” joked our French-born friend. He had not been fooled in the slightest by our attempts to downplay the difficulties that we were encountering in our efforts to master the French administrative system. He knew from long years of experience that this could be challenging. But it was what it was, and his words were a gentle reminder that the sooner we relaxed and let ourselves go with the French flow, the easier living there would be.

So, we did. We did our best to be French, feel French and accept differences as neither right nor wrong. Just as our first self-congratulatory, ‘yes, we’ve done it, we’ve found our place here’ thoughts were cementing their place in our minds, we were cruelly reminded that in life there is no place for self-satisfaction and complacency.

But you are in France, Madame is our French story. It is not a cookbook, nor a travel guide, nor a serious analysis of French customs and society. It is a glimpse into French living as my husband, 3 young children and I lived it with our moments of happiness, confusion, surprise and heartache.

Catherine’s journey as a French teacher has taken her from Adelaide to Tasmania to country Victoria, over to France and back to Melbourne. She now lives mostly in Sydney and some of the time in the French Alps. Her presentation will include a slide projection and discussion of her family’s French adventure, which led to the purchase of a house in France and the writing of her book, but she will be sure to leave plenty of time for questions.

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