Note: This giveaway was planned before the horrible attacks on Paris on 13 November, but I think celebrating Laura Bradbury’s love of France is a way of honoring what so many people have found when they’ve gone abroad. Travel makes the world much smaller, and turns every person we meet into potential friends, and strangers into people we care about across great distances. Paris, nous sommes tellement désolé.Laura Bradbury at the Surrey International Writers Conference (NB: if you like thoughtful, accessible, intimate, inclusive and terrific writers conferences, I can’t say enough good things about the SiWC). In 2014, I heard about My Grape Escape, her memoir about buying and restoring a French home in Burgundy — and you know that memoirs about starting life over in a new location and in new directions are very much my catnip. I learned a lot about French home repair and restoration, and dealing with small town bureaucracy, which is worse than knob and tube wiring, I’m pretty sure.
This year, Laura was signing My Grape Year, the story of how she ended up in France in the first place as an exchange student, and how she met her now-husband, Franck. AND she was giving away these gorgeous French market baskets at the signing for SIWC. Seriously. They’re beautiful. So when we were part of the same dinner group, I asked if I could do a giveaway for one of the baskets, and the books as well. And because Laura is Canadian and required by law to be nice, she said yes, and then she probably said sorry for something she didn’t do, which is also required by Canadian law. The market baskets are really nice, too – I’m so excited to be giving one away.
Laura uses her market basket as a general all-purpose bag – and there’s plenty of room inside.
For our giveaway, we have copies of Laura’s memoirs about life in France, My Grape Escape, My Grape Year, and My Grape Village, in paper or ebook, winner’s choice, and a market basket to put your books or your e-reader in — also winner’s choice. You can carry both if you want, obviously. We won’t judge.
So, want to enter? YAY! Drop a comment below and tell us about a place that changed you in some way. For me, it was Spain, when I was an exchange student at 15 and again at 20. For Laura, it was Burgundy. What about you? Is there a place that is deeply important to you, that changed your life? Nearby, far away, on the couch next to you? Tell us about it.
Thank you to Laura Bradbury for the giveaway, and the market basket, and the written taste of France.
Winner winner! The winner of the market basket and the Grape series is Christine! Congratulations, and thank you, everyone, for sharing your memorable and life-changing travels.