Say bonjour to a whole new way of life!
Take one French widower, his two young children, and drop a former city girl from Chicago into a small town in southwestern France. Shake vigorously... and voilá: a blended Franco-American family whose lives will all drastically change.
Floating on a cloud of newlywed bliss, Samantha couldn’t wait to move to France to begin her life with her new husband, Jean-Luc, and his kids. But almost from the moment the plane touches down, Samantha realizes that there are a lot of things about her new home— including flea-ridden cats, grumpy teenagers, and language barriers— that she hadn’t counted on.
Struggling to feel at home and wondering when exactly her French fairy tale is going to start, Samantha isn’t sure if she really has what it takes to make it in la belle France. But when a second chance at life and love is on the line, giving up isn’t an option. How to Make a French Family is the heartwarming and sometimes hilarious story of the culture clashes and faux pas that , in the end, add up to one happy family.
Verant combines one part second chance at romance, on part travelogue, and nearly three dozen recipes in this heartfelt account of how she reconnected with a lover 20 years after their affair and started life over in France with an instant family. When Verant was 19 and traveling through Europe, she had a brief encounter with a Frenchman named Jean-Luc. Not ready for something serious, she never responded to his ardent letters. Two decades later, divorced and in debt, Verant reached out to Jean-Luc, who had been widowed, recently divorced his second wife, and become the solo parent of his two young kids. The undeniable chemistry was still there, and a year later they married and moved outside of Toulouse. In her new environment, Verant had to navigate the laborious bureaucracy and red tape that come with being a foreigner living abroad, learn how to speak French more fluently, and understand vast behavior and cultural differences (such as the French habit of being very direct and making intense eye contact). Most critically, she had to figure out how to bond with her stepchildren, who were still dealing with grief and distrust after Jean-Luc's ill-advised second marriage. In the end, as Verant warmly writes, food and her cooking gave her a sure-fire way in with the family, as they often prepared meals and dined together.