French By Heart

An American Family's Adventures in La Belle France

Publisher: Broadway Books

Can a family of five from deep in the heart of Dixie find happiness smack dab in the middle of France?

French By Heart is the story of an all-American family pulling up stakes and finding a new home in Clermont-Ferrand, a city four hours south of Paris known more for its smoke-spitting factories and car dealerships than for its location in the Auvergne, the lush heartland of France dotted with crumbling castles and sunflower fields. The Ramseys are not jet-setters; they’re a regular family with big-hearted and rambunctious kids. Quickly their lives go from covered-dish suppers to smoky dinner parties with heated polemics, from being surrounded by Southern hospitality to receiving funny looks if the children play in the yard without shoes.

A charming tale with world-class characters, French By Heart reads like letters from your funniest friend. More than just a slice of life in France, it’s a heartwarming account of a family coming of age and learning what “home sweet home” really means.

READ AN EXCERPT

1.  La Tornade


A month before we left for France, a truck pulling a steel shipping container pulled into Kensington Farm, our neighborhood, and parked in front of our house. It was moving day and Mother had come down from Raleigh to help me with the children. We pulled lawn chairs into my...
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READING GUIDE

In this charming memoir, Becky Ramsey recounts the trials and delights of her young family’s four–year stay in “la belle France.” From the moment she and her husband decide to accept his employer’s offer of a transfer to Michelin in France, Becky, Todd, and their three children are on an...
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PRAISE FOR

"I loved reading Rebecca Ramsey's account of her family's sojourn in France.  French By Heart is that winning (and rare) combination of a down-to-earth, witty voice with a sense of the mysterious and eternal.  The minute I finished the last page I started looking forward to her next book." -Josephine Humphreys, author of Nowhere Else on Earth

"Engaging, witty, and touching.  This book is a delight." – Bailey White