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Blown Out of Proportion: misadventures of a glassblower in France by Rachel Caldecott

June 12, 2021

When I started reading this book, I wondered if it would be the same as many other stories of Brits moving to France, buying a ruin and renovating it. Not that I would have minded. I love books about renovating old properties, especially in France. However, what I wasn’t expecting was the almost anti-French-dream story that Rachel Caldecott tells with her wry, often very pithy, humour. This really is a book that tells the family’s experiences as they were, completely unmitigated by rose-tinted specs. In fact, I think their specs showed everything in its truest and most honest detail. 

Some of the stories of their life in the southern French town of Lodève were horrific and hard to absorb at times. Others were funny, and others, such as the warm-hearted treatment they received from some of their local friends, were really lovely.

However, I found the whole family’s gutsy attitude to their relentless series of misfortunes admirable and I take my hat off to them all for their courage in staying and surviving. From the first page to the last, I gasped, laughed, cried and ultimately cheered as I read about their wonderful refugee work. I also loved the descriptions of the glass-making. Fascinating!

Rachel Caldecott and her family deserve medals for several reasons but their sheer will to prevail in whatever they do would win them one alone. Chapeaux to them all! Highly recommended.

The link to the book on Amazon US is here. It is, of course, available on all the other Amazon sites, so use this link to find it on your own market page.

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