Book review: “Le Road Trip, A Traveler's Journal of Love and France” by Vivian Swift

While lucky go-abroaders shell out mega euros for a trip au continental, Francophile wannabes and reallybes can savor a taste of France in a new book, right at home.
By Mary McReynolds Published: April 29, 2012
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While lucky go-abroaders shell out mega euros for a trip au continental, Francophile wannabes and really-bes can savor a taste of France in a new book, right at home.

Author Vivian Swift describes “Le Road Trip, A Traveler's Journal of Love and France” (Bloomsbury, hardcover, $24) as a combo love and travel book based on her honeymoon revisiting Paris and Normandy, Brittany and Bordeaux, the Loire Valley and Chartres and many quaint spots in between.

The result is a tres charmant account featuring 189 pages of lush words and gorgeous watercolors courtesy of the very talented author/illustrator. Swift serves up stellar fare that you want to take your time savoring, each creamy leaf a yummy treat or, peut etre, un bon bon. Good good is the only way to describe the work of this former Faberge expert at Christie's auction house; it is a unique travelogue featuring on-the-road views, hilarious anecdotes and sound advice on what to pack, what to eat, what not to expect and what to demand.

No one has read a travel book like it and one only hopes there will be more to follow. This reviewer can hardly wait to read Swift's first book with the tantalizing title, “When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Traveler's Journal of Staying Put.”

The chat is out of the bag, and Swift is apace, a force du jour. Who can resist a writer who starts her book with these words: “Anticipation: in love and travel, getting there is half the fun”? And so is reading Swift. Think I'll start again. At the beginning.

— Mary McReynolds