Finding Fontainebleau

Finding Fontainebleau

An American Boy in France

eBook - 2016
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"A beguiling memoir of a childhood in 1950s Fontainebleau from the much-admired New York Times bestselling author of The Piano Shop on the Left Bank. For a young American boy in the 1950s, Fontainebleau was a sight both strange and majestic, home to a continual series of adventures: a different language to learn, weekend visits to nearby Paris, family road trips to Spain and Italy. Then there was the chateau itself: a sprawling palace once the residence of kings, its grounds the perfect place to play hide-and-seek. The curiosities of the small town and the time with his family as expats left such an impression on him that thirty years later Carhart returned to France with his wife to raise their two children. Touring Fontainebleau again as an adult, he began to appreciate its influence on French style, taste, art, and architecture. Each trip to Fontainebleau introduces him to entirely new aspects of the chateau's history, enriching his memories and leading him to Patrick Ponsot, the head of the chateau's restoration, who becomes Carhart's guide to the hidden Fontainebleau. What emerges is an intimate chronicle of a time and place few have experienced. In warm, precise prose, Carhart reconstructs the wonders of his childhood as an American in postwar France, attending French schools with his brothers and sisters. His firsthand account brings to life nothing less than France in the 1950s, from the parks and museums of Paris to the rigors of French schooling to the vast chateau of Fontainebleau and its village, built, piece by piece, over many centuries. Finding Fontainebleau is for those captivated by the French way of life, for armchair travelers, and for anyone who has ever fallen in love with a place they want to visit over and over again"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, 2016.
ISBN: 9780698191617
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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Apr 05, 2017

I just completed this book a couple of days ago. It was incredibly revealing from a different perspective---that of a grown man's memory of being a small boy for 3 years in and around Paris in the mid-50s. I was so captivated by all aspects of his and his family's life in a totally different world from where they had come (Washington, DC) and their ways of getting adjusted to a different culture, different expectations, and a beautiful, but old and often inconvenient house. I also enjoyed reading about how the chateau of Fountainebleu came into being and how it was being carefully restored. A great read!

Oct 15, 2016

I really enjoyed the experience of reading this memoir: there's a very deliberate pace to it that feels right. The insights into post-war France/Europe are fascinating & I liked the bits about restoring and maintaining Fontainebleau, too.


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