I received an advanced review copy of this title from Gallic Books.
George is an eighty-three year old gentleman living a quiet life in the French countryside. He has been a widower for a few years now and his daughter keeps careful watch over his life. George does not alter his daily routine of watching television, visiting with his neighbor Charles or napping so it is shocking when George decides that he is going to take a three thousand kilometer road trip.
When George’s overprotective daughter decides to take a two month trip and leave him alone, he makes plans with his neighbor Charles to embark on a trip of a lifetime. These two elderly men prove that one is never too old, too tired or too feeble to have an adventure. As George and Charles’ route follows the same stops as that of the Tour de France, the places they visit and the cast of characters which they meet on the way are interesting and delightful.
George’s granddaughter, Adele, decides that she has not seen her grandfather in over ten years and out of the blue wants to renew her relationship with him. Adele begins texting George as he makes his way on his tour and the scenes in which George figures out how to use his phone and the language of texting are hilarious. George learns that technology is not necessarily such a bad thing and the daily messages between himself and his granddaughter serve to rekindle their heartwarming relationship.
I must say that there were a few plot twists in this book that really surprised me. George and Charles have very different reasons for embarking on their trip which are slowly revealed to us throughout the book. Adele also has some of her own issues as a young woman who is trying to figure out her own place in the world. There is also an interesting attraction between George and Charles’ single sister whom they stop and visit along the way.
No matter where George goes on his trip, he has a gentle way of winning people over and making friends. He certainly won me over and I highly recommend giving GEORGE’S GRAND TOUR a try while you are sitting on the beach or anywhere else on vacation this summer.
About The Author:
Caroline Vermalle was born in France in 1973 to a family whose French roots go back at least as far as the 16th century. Yet, she is a vegetarian who can’t cook, doesn’t drink, finds berets itchy and unpractical and would rather eat yesterday’s snails than jump a queue.
After graduating from film school in Paris, she became a television documentary producer for the BBC in London and travelled the world, at speed and off the beaten tracks, in search of good stories. In 2008, then on maternity leave, she penned her first novel « George’s Grand Tour », whose international success allowed her to quit her job and indulge in her three passions : books, interior design and travel – slowly this time.
After writing 7 novels in different genres and different languages, going on a world tour with her family and building a wooden house in a forest, Caroline now lives between a small seaside town in Vendée (France) and a small seaside town in the Eastern Cape (South Africa) with her son, a black cat and her husband, South African architect-turned-author Ryan von Ruben.