L'Auberge, Paperback
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


The small commune of Fogas in the French Pyrenees has been thrown into turmoil by the revelation that the Auberge des Deux Vallees has been bought by an English couple and not by the Mayor's brother-in-law as had been expected.

With everyone aghast at the idea of an English run restaurant and the certainty of gastronomic disasters, Mayor Serge Papon is in the mood to take revenge.

Within hours of hearing the news, he has called an emergency Committee meeting and his machinations to force out the new owners have begun. But the Mayor hasn't reckoned on one of his deputies, Christian Dupuy, whose conscience always leads his politics.

Refusing to condone Mayor Papon's calls to compulsory purchase the Auberge, he proposes an alternative solution which will prevent the Mayor from getting his own way. Or will it ...




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As the author runs an Auberge in the Ariège this seems to be very much a roman a clef. At the heart of the plot lie the intricate barriers posed by French bureaucracy, which is a pleasant contrast to the usual romantic account of English émigrés adventures in Tuscany, Provence, etc. etc.. There are some enjoyable characters. The two English characters seem rather wooden, but probably, with the language barrier, that is how they would come across to the French villagers. The language difference itself is treated in an amusing way. This a warm novel, a pleasant and unchallenging read, with, of course, a happy ending—otherwise the author would be the ex proprietrix of an Auberge, no longer living in the Ariège.

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