Reflections on A Pig in Provence
Last week I had a notice from the publisher of my memoir, A Pig in Provence, Good Food and Simple Pleasures in the South of France, that it has been selected as an eBook ‘Summer Read’ and would be available at a special price throughout the month of June on various platforms.
The book was first published in 2007, and now, here it is, not only in its e-incarnation, but, seven years later, still being promoted by the publisher, which, by the way, is Chronicle Books. When it came out in May of 2007, the New York Times Book Review included it in a summer reading round up, calling it “Fascinating …You can almost hear her lips smacking.” I was thrilled to see my name and the review in, for a writer, the most desired of all possible places.
The San Francisco Chronicle Book Review said this about A Pig in Provence – “You can almost smell the lavender as you follow Brennan’s love affair with the province that became her second home and shaped (her) culinary persona. A talented storyteller.” I liked the part about the story telling.
There is, as always, more story to tell.
In the intervening years, my dear neighbor, Marcel Palazolli died. He is buried in the small cemetery in Cotignac where other family members are buried. His widow, Marie, still keeps the market garden going, and you can find her most days digging leeks, planting tomatoes, or picking cherries, depending on the season. She still cooks her wondrous meals when I visitand does the same for my grown children.
In March, just a few months ago, my first husband, Donald, with whom I began the great adventure in Provence, died as well. Suddenly and unexpectedly. With him went those memories of shared hopes and dreams, of fears and deep happiness and fulfillment that the early years in Provence brought us. I had spent almost half my adult life with him – we were married for 23 years – and on what turned out to be our last visit together he said, “We sure had a good life, didn’t we?”
So, I hope those of you who have read A Pig in Provence will think of the characters in them as moving on and for those of you who haven’t, I hope you will it.