Travel back in time and immerse yourself in the Provence of the late 60s. Sensitively told, filled with humor, tenderness and a beautifully descriptive narrative regaling the reader with the tastes and smells of Southern France, A Feast at the Beach deftly blends the foods of Provence with stories that will touch your heart - and just may inspire you to rediscover your own joie de vivre.
Couldn't put it down!
If you love the sights & smells of France, read this book. You'll be whisked back to Provence. This book would make a great movie!
A sampling of reviews...
I'm not quite sure why the publisher and Apple put this book in the cookbook category. Though it does contain a dozen Provençal recipes, it is really an evocative coming of age memoir of St Tropez and Provence. Here are some media reviews...
“Best in new fiction and non-fiction books” – Bookviews, 2011
“I adore his book. He shares the most significantly notable times of his life with a sentimental passion that releases the joy of living in each one of us. I have not been to France but felt I was transported there with his remarkable gift of writing.”
Kaye Cloutman, San Francisco Book Review
“With a clever pen and sincere style, Widmaier is brilliant at wiping away all the cliché’s you’ve seen all too often on TV about life in St. Tropez. In A Feast at the Beach, you’ll find yourself immersed in the Provence of the 60s, a universe that evokes both the novels of Marcel Pagnol and the photographs of Robert Doisneau.“
Sophie Fung, French Morning magazine
“If there was an ideal book to introduce you to the slow life in Rural France, this just might be the one. Each chapter ends in recipes that are a joy to read, as they are more than a list of ingredients and procedures, as a good recipe should be. Widmaier’s characters are precisely drawn, and unlike those of Peter Mayle you never get the feeling that the little quirks in their character are being embellished for your amusement.”
James Martin, About.com Europe Travel Editor
“In every jewel-like chapter William captures the essence of what it was to be a child in a Provence that is passing from memory. In A Feast at the Beach I find our own summer memories of beach and gouter, of bouilliabaise and aioli reflected in his evocative writing. A lovely book.”
Georgeanne Brennan, Author of A Pig in Provence and The Food and Flavors of Haute Provence.
“A delicious read. If you wish to be transported to a St Tropez of long ago then A Feast at the Beach is the perfect interlude.”
Vivki Archer, Author of My French Life and French Essence.
“I highly recommend William Widmaier’s book A Feast at the Beach. This memoir of life in Provence in the slower ’60s will make you want to experience it all before you’ve reached the end of the book, I’m telling you. And if you can’t, it has recipes so you can taste what you’re missing while you stir the pots in your very own kitchen.”
“For a trip to St. Tropez of yesterday, pick up this book. You’ll not only be tempted to book a plane ticket, but you’ll also be forced to recall simpler times and places, where memories of people you love are peppered with laughter and good food. “
Kimberley Lovato, Travel writer and author of the award winning cookbook Walnut Wine and Truffle Groves
“Like a warm summer evening, rocking on the front porch listening to family memories and tales, this nostalgic read is a real pleasure.”
Anne Woodyard, Bonjour PARIS
“A delight. The book is filled with powerful flavors, scents, images and traditions…things you’ll recognize immediately if you’ve spent time in Provence or on the Cote d’Azur. You know a book has grabbed you when it leaves you wanting to know more.”
Julie Mautner, The Provence Post
“Wonderful descriptions not only of the place, but the culture, the cuisine and the lovely wines of Provence. Lovingly written.”
Kari Moran, Book Radio, KFWB Los Angeles
“Evocative story telling and rich, luscious recipes”
SaraB, Blissfully Domestic
“All I have to do is revisit Widmaier’s lovely read, and I can instantly find myself in France.”
Anna Freeman, Sacramento Book Review
“This lovingly descriptive story ‘blends the foods, smells and ambiance of Provence’ with chapters filled with personal stories of family and friends, love, and life’s lessons.”
Tracey Johnston, 5 Books to Give This Holiday, HealthCastlle.com
“Supremely well-written… The first few sentences of just about every chapter draw you in, connect you with Widmaier’s Provencal childhood memories, but in their disarming terseness remain blessedly free of any hint of cloying, saccharine wistfulness.
“I’m pleased to have stumbled upon a memoir that is well-written enough to be romantically reflective without losing its edginess. Which makes A Feast at the Beach such a rare book – it’s one that can be equally at home on your grandmother’s beach house coffee table as well as your own nightstand.”
Joe Roberts, 1 Wine Dude
“His memoir abounds with stories inspired by boyhood trips in his grandfather’s homemade boat, picnicking on the beach, and bicycling through the countryside. Each chapter ends with a local recipe. ‘I wanted to inspire people to search for their own joie de vivre, the non-material pleasures of life,’ Widmaier says. ‘So much of that is found in good food enjoyed around the table with friends; that always seems to be one of the great things. If we can just slow down and do that a little bit more we’d all be happier. Food for the body and the soul.’”
Elizabeth Khuri Chandler, C Magazine
“William has developed a deep sensitivity towards France. His descriptions and literary style shows that the land of his grandparents is indeed a part of him. To read A Feast at the Beach is to experience slices of Provençal life with all the amazement and sensitivity of the child we all once were.”
David Martinon, Consul General of France
“A beautifully impressionistic pastiche of a more innocent time. Nostalgic, fragile, told with warmth and genuine affection.”
A Feast at the Beach -William Widmaier
Such a pleasure to read. It was like steping back into my own more innocent and adventurous life. To read this lovely collection of stories was for me a trip to the South of France, to Saint Tropez, yes, bien sur -but more it was a trip in time, and reminded me of a favorite game that I used to entertain myself with : what if I could slip away through one of the moments between the moments of time.
Yes, this book was a real treat! I can hardly wait for the next by this author!