Reflecting on a Time Like No Other

What makes Provence so special? I tried to answer that for myself in this article for the Christian Science Monitor, written on our last extended visit there in 2007.

There is nowhere else in the world where you can keep busy doing so little and enjoying it so much. One day you’ll understand.
– Uncle Harry’s advice to Max in Peter Mayle’s ‘A Good Year.’

In the 15 years since his best‑selling book “A Year in Provence” made this region a tourism magnet, author Peter Mayle often has been pilloried by the French: Mayle casts Provence as a trifle, it’s been said, buoyant but lacking in depth. His characters are exaggerated. He first profited from the region, and then left it behind when crowds of tourists converged on the places he’d helped make famous.