Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Published on: 08/14/15 10:16 AM

Book review: Le Road Trip by Vivian Swift

This is more a brief take than review.

Le Road Trip by Vivian Swift.

Because of its simply irresistible title.

Because I have been hopelessly, helplessly, totally in love with Paris, with France, since forever (or since I first visited).

Because this is a picture book: every page carries exquisitely detailed drawings of windows, cafes, streets, fields, flowers, bread, wine, patisserie, vineyards, old stone houses, and cats.

Because it is quite the most charming travelogue ever, the cache of enchanting watercolour illustrations a perfect consort to chatty text that describes the places Swift and her new husband travel to (Paris, Normandy, Brittany, Bordeaux, Loire Valley, Chartres), the amiable as well as the dour locals they meet en route, how they get on each other’s nerves but make up soon after, how they take the rough road with the smooth, and delight in the experience of both.

The language Swift employs is without frills, direct and friendly; it’s as if a Francophile friend is sharing snippets on travel —and love — with you. The humour is gentle, though the `otherness` (the author is American) comes through clear as cristal; the information…well, the information is artfully scattered along a rambling road and the reader can wander along, picking up nuggets as she wills. Indeed a celebration of la vagabonde.

Related Links:

Travel: Paris from the River Seine

Travel: Paris: Mogan, Montmartre, Madhu and Montparnasse

Franceillustrated travelogueLe Road TripVivian Swift

Sheila Kumar • August 14, 2015

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