New Book Keith Van Sickle Asks, “Are We French Yet?”
Keith Van Sickle just published his second book, “Are We French Yet? Keith & Val’s Adventures in Provence.” In a word the book is delightful.
Please scroll to the bottom for giveaway details.
Author Keith Van Sickle
Few couples in Silicon Valley (or anywhere) would take a leap of faith to give up their steady employment and build a consultancy business. Even fewer souls would decide to organize their work and other commitments so they could spend part of the year in Provence. That lifestyle choice is precisely what the Van Sickles have done. It was during an expat assignment in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, where Keith and Val Van Sickle experienced the comfortable work-life balance that is a deep-seated thread of life in Europe.
Why not write about the adventures and mishaps?
In Keith Van Sickle’s first book, “One Sip at a Time. Learning to live in Provence” he shares their decision establish a dual life. The courage to peel themselves away from the Silicon Valley grind and embark on an annual expat experience in Provence. There were many complications, not the least of which was their limited proficiency in the French language. The book is lighthearted, yet truthful about some of the language and cultural barriers they faced. Please read our review of “One Sip at a Time” here.
Book Two: Are We French Yet?
When I met with Keith and Val in early June (2018), he mentioned that he had started working on his second book. “Are We French Yet? Keith & Val’s Adventures in Provence” broadens and deepens the story of this dual career couple who are determined to live part-time in France. In this memoir, Van Sickle maintains his relaxed writing style, quick to laugh at a misstep and turn it into a French cultural lesson. A quick read at just over 300 pages, “Are We French Yet?” covers topics including Sex and Politics, Picnics in Provence and I Want to be a Fonctionnaire (a union worker). The Van Sickles don’t have more experiences than the next couple, but they choose to look at life through a humorous lens. They don’t just want to “live the dream” as some of their friends in California might think, they want to live in France.
“I guess that for them it’s fresh baguettes and rosé wine and golden fields of sunflowers, but for us, it’s much more. We don’t want to just enjoy an extended vacation, we want to live in France more deeply than we did in Switzerland” Excerpt From: “Are We French Yet?”
This couple has made an enormous effort to learn to speak French. Not an easy undertaking in your 40s and 50s Van Sickle points out. However, their resolve has paid off in the friendships they have forged in the time they have been in Provence. These personal relationships pick-up where they left off, developing further each year, and it’s easy to understand why. Keith and Val make an effort to learn the language, understand the culture, discover the sites and open their hearts to their friends. They are also willing to try almost anything.
“It was a reminder to always try new things, even if you aren’t sure about them at first. After all, wasn’t that one of the reasons we were in France?” Excerpt From: “Are We French Yet?”
“Are We French Yet?” is an enjoyable read and a look at French customs with an open and curious mind. The book covers many topics that cause you to consider how you would have handled the situation.
Would you try pig’s muzzle and poutargue? Would you have the patience to wait in line for 45 minutes at the butcher and appreciate why?
“It’s what I appreciate the most about living in this new country—every day is an adventure. And the more I learn, the more I see the world through French eyes.” Excerpt From: “Are We French Yet?.”
Buy your copy
The book is available on Amazon here.
Or, click the cover below.
Giveaway! Please leave a comment below or on our Facebook Page for your chance to receive a copy of “Are We French Yet.” There will be two lucky winners, chosen by random selection on December 21st.