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Wine, food, love, a canal boat and France. Craving adventure, a writer goes in search of happiness on the French canals. Will his marriage make it home again?

Wine, food, love, a canal boat and France. Craving adventure, a writer goes in search of happiness on the French canals. Will his marriage make it home again?

Craving adventure, Bruce Ansley goes in search of happiness on the French canals. He and his wife Sally buy a canal boat, the River Queen, in Holland and sail it through Belgium to France. They travel through old battlefields, the great vineyards and wineries of Burgundy, and find the ideal way to live in Paris: on a boat.

La Belle France seems flawlessly to live up to Bruce’s expectations. The journey takes the couple through quaint villages and picturesque countryside; it introduces them to colourful people, excellent food and lots and lots of wine. Bruce and Sally find themselves part of a floating community whose people range from hilarious to eccentric to astonishing.

Yet aboard the River Queen another drama plays out. Fault lines appear in the perfect life, threatening the ideal escape with an unhappy ending. Throwing the cards in the air is one thing, but knowing how they will land is another. With humour and a poignantly candid touch, Ansley documents a journey within a journey: the internal shifts of a marriage that just might not make it home.

This acclaimed travel memoir by award-winning New Zealand writer takes us vividly and unforgettably to France. But it also takes us further than that — deep into the winding, secret interior of the heart.

Formats & editions

  • EBook

    9781877460548

    May 1, 2010

    Random House New Zealand

    212 pages

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