This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kate Appleton
At the age of 83, retired butcher George Nicoleau is about to set off on the greatest adventure of his life. George and his neighbour Charles have long dreamt of a road trip, driving the 3500 kilometres that make up the stages of the Tour de France. And now that George’s over‐protective daughter has gone to South America, it's time to seize the moment. But just when he feels free of family ties, George’s granddaughter Adèle starts calling him from London, and he finds himself promising to text her as he travels around France, although he doesn't even know how to use a mobile. George is plagued by doubts, health worries and an indifference to modern technology. And yet – might the journey still prove to be everything he had hoped for?
This is Caroline Vermalle’s first book to be translated into English and it’s a wonderful introduction to her as writer and the anticipation of things to come. Continuing on from the popularity of Jonas Jonasson’s, The Hundred Year Old Man and the newsworthy story of WW2 veteran Bernard Jordan who ran away to remember the D-Day landings, Caroline’s octogenarian protagonist brings joy to the heart. Her beautiful turn of phrase combining a devil may care attitude with a tinge of the curmudgeonly creates a friendship between the two men that you recognise in your own relationships with friends and family old and young.
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Equally, and rather aptly you feel like a guest on their adventure and treated to a taste of France and its different provinces. I have lived in Toulouse and had the pleasure of visiting a number of cities in France however, I have not had the opportunity to explore Brittany but after reading about the rugged coastline as seen through the crinkly eyes of George and Charles it is now sat high on my list.
Whimsical, delightful and wonderfully aspirational to live life to the full and embrace new adventures whatever your age – not to mention stay in touch with your grandparents and NEVER, never become ageist. The perfect summer compliment to a trip to the park on a Sunday afternoon, just take a tissue just in case.