Books on ProvenceGuest PostLifestyle: Art & Culture

How Journaling leads to Passion for Provence: 22 Keys to La Belle Vie

Recently, Lynne Alderson (Aixcentric) wrote a book review on Passion for Provence: 22 Keys to La Belle Vie a book written by Gayle Smith Padgett that was published in November 2017. We were intrigued by the tale of a couple of American transplants who spent their honeymoon in Provence and have now decided to make it permanent. Here, is what Gayle shared about her memoir.


“I did’t not do inethag to day good by” was the extent of this seven-year-old’s summation of January 6, 1958. Though my journaling—my mom’s idea—admittedly got off to a rocky start, the idea of writing stuff down, took root. Good thing too, as I heavily relied on my daily journals—compiled over many years—to develop my memoir, Passion for Provence: 22 Keys to La Belle Vie.

Passion for Provence Book Gayle Smith Padgett

Book Overview:

“Falling for France wasn’t part of the Mediterranean honeymoon agenda. Pale rosé, languid lunches on a sun-dappled terrace, and a dash of reckless abandon may have been to blame.

Americans Gayle Smith Padgett and her husband, Ralph, leap into a long-distance love affair with La Belle France. Two decades and many beguiling assignations later, they finally launch a quest for a nest in Provence.

Despite a lack of French skills and connections, the couple plunges full-time into French life. Through a series of faux pas and lucky encounters, they unlock intriguing mysteries, including France’s food-first policy and its dependence on Gallic shrugs.

With self-deprecating humor and quirky candor, the author reveals insightful secrets in Passion for Provence: 22 Keys to La Belle Vie. This delightful memoir will inspire you to pack your bags for Provence—for a sweet sojourn or, just maybe, a longer stay.”

I hope you get a chance to read Passion for Provence and that you enjoy it, including the details gleaned from my many daily journals.

About the Author

gayle-padgett-passion-for-provence

Gayle Smith Padgett, a UCLA graduate, has two master’s degrees, neither in French. After studying in Mexico and South America, she worked as a language specialist in California and Virginia and later as a management analyst and US government liaison in Heidelberg, Germany. In 2011, she and her husband moved to Provence where they continue to crack French culture codes.

Find out more at: gaylesmithpadgett.com

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride was at six-months old, her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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