Bon Courage: Rediscovering the Art of Living (In the Heart of France)

Bon Courage: Rediscovering the Art of Living (In the Heart of France)

by Ken McAdams


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One year and one arduous home-renovation into their marriage, Ken and Bing head to the French countryside to celebrate their long-delayed honeymoon, swearing they're getting out of the home-fixing business for good. When they fall in love with the village of La Montagne Noire, they find themselves buying a fixer-upper and starting all over again-but this time, in French! McAdams recounts their mishaps and misadventures with humor, capturing the essence of French village life, the awkwardness of being foreigners in a close-knit town, the couple's hilarious linguistic pratfalls, and how the mammoth undertaking that threatens to tear their new marriage apart ultimately brings them closer together and helps them find a place in the community they have grown to love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781559213981
Publisher: Beaufort Books, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/03/2010
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Ken McAdams is a graduate of Yale and a former Marine Corps Naval Aviator who broke four world records and received decoration as the first civilian volunteer to fly Marines into Iraq. Pan Am's youngest divisional Chief, he was later appointed National Transportation Safety Board investigator and became Chief Operating Officer KIWI International Airlines before retiring to write full time.

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Bon Courage: Rediscovering the Art of Living (In the Heart of France) 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
JB_Roberts More than 1 year ago
This book was forced on me!! I like a number of Americans had nurtured a belief that France was an overrated assemblage of wine snobs and grimy berets, crammed into a big old musty box.. Without soap. Turns out its just Paris that's musty! Bon Courage is more than a great read, it really happened! The author Ken McAdams and his wife artist Marian Bingham, decide to spend their belated honeymoon in France. After falling in love with the charming countryside, and quaint village, these young lovers decide to actually buy a home in France. Isn't love grand? Okay so they don't speak the language, and maybe the house is not really ready for human habitation, but these kids can handle anything. Oh.. I forgot to mention they're not kids. They're grandparents!! From silly to sad, and angry to glad, the discoveries, demands, and difficulties these two face make you truly appreciate their humor, guts, and courage. Bon Courage! This book did two things for me. It reminded me to never judge a book by it's cover, or in this case, a nation by the politics of a city. And that the "Greatest Generation" is still showing us all how to quit complaining and just do it!
nemoman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
McAdams and his new wife restore an old home in a historic French village. McAdams is a retired pilot and wannabe writer. Rebounding from his prior wife's death, he marries a divorced artist, and the home restoration is a metaphor for their creation of a new life together. The plot, of course, is cliched. Moreover, despite some amount of humor and charm, the writing is clumsy. Every third page McAdams reminds you of his "glory days" as a pilot, both in the Marines and with commercial airlines. Who cares? They inexplicably arrive for an extended stay in a small village in southern France, speaking almost no French - ever hear of Rosetta Stone? McAdams' linguistic ignorance is such that he thinks "merde" is French for "eggplant." I would expect that most educated Americans know what "merde" means, even if they never took a French lesson in their lives. The book provides little insight into French culture, history or cuisine
omphalos02 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Charming story, poorly told, poorly edited. Really, the substance of this book is sweet and even inspiring, but McAdams is a plodding and clumsy storyteller. His recounting of his recoiling from the traditional French greeting is an example. He is uncomfortable with the "mano y mano" kisses on both cheeks. Really? "Mano a mano" (the correct phrase, I believe) means "hand to hand' - though is commonly misused as meaning "man on man - something any editor worth their blue pencil should have caught. The constant reminders about his glory days as a pilot also serve to impede the storyline, as noted elsewhere. Too bad, this could have been fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is a bad imitation of "A Year in Provence." There is nothing interesting or humorous about Mr. McAdams personal life and his experience in France. The numerous infantile disputes between the author and his wife are pointless and do not lend themselves to the theme of the book. The many French sentences and words used are full of grammatical and spelling errors.The best part of the book are the illustrations done by Mr. McAdams wife, "Bing' Bingham.
contradictionofsorts More than 1 year ago
Similar to Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence, but from an American's perspective instead of a Brit's, with a bit more crass and headstrong American hard-headedness to top it off. Thoroughly enjoyed the read, further reiterating quality of life and the rewards/struggles of living in a foreign country.*
tartantart More than 1 year ago
What a fun, delightful read this book was. Easy to follow along, fun, touching and humerous. I felt like I was living in the McAdams household, going thru the trial & tribulations of a new marriage, remodeling & moving to a foreign country. I wanted to pack up & move to France, live right next door to them.