About George’s Grand Tour
At the age of eighty-three, retired butcher George Nicoleau is about to set off on the greatest adventure of his life. George and his neighbor Charles have long dreamt of a road trip, driving the 3,500 kilometres that make up the stages of the Tour de France. And now that George’s over-protective daughter has gone to South America, it’s time to seize the moment.
But just when he feels free of family ties, George’s granddaughter Adèle starts calling him from London, and he finds himself promising to text her as he travels around France, although he doesn’t even know how to use a mobile.
George is plagued by doubts, health worries, and an indifference to modern technology. And yet—might the journey still prove to be everything he had hoped for?
What a moving story, quite a gem.
I loved the way George embraced life once again through his travels, discovering technology and through his relationships with family, old and new friends.
All the loose ends to the relationships in George’s life came together nicely. Sharing the road trip with Charles as well as the true importance of the trip bridged the gap from neighbors to friends. Technology as well as sharing his travel experiences with Adéle lovingly reunited granddaughter and grandfather from a very distance relationship. I also understood the bond George shared with Françoise and their delicate tether. Secondary character George was a delight to the story.
Despite the tenderness of the story much humor was scattered through the narrative. A few scenes will leave you belly laughing. I also enjoyed the travel portion, lovely to read of the stops, sights and local flavor as these two travel partners suffer woes and comforts a travel duo endures.
I loved the ending, bittersweet, poignant, brings the entire story together. Such a marvelous story from start to finish. George is memorable.
A wonderful story gently forcing you to reflect on the relationships you’ve ignored or easily dismissed from a myriad of poor excuses. Caroline Vermalle penned a touching and uplifting story you won’t forget, very well done.
About Caroline Vermalle
Caroline Vermalle was born in France in 1973 to a family whose French roots go back at least as far as the 16th century. Yet, she is a vegetarian who can’t cook, doesn’t drink, finds berets itchy and unpractical and would rather eat yesterday’s snails than jump a queue.
After graduating from film school in Paris, she became a television documentary producer for the BBC in London and travelled the world, at speed and off the beaten tracks, in search of good stories. In 2008, then on maternity leave, she penned her first novel George’s Grand Tour, whose international success allowed her to quit her job and indulge in her three passions: books, interior design and travel – slowly this time.
After writing seven novels in different genres and different languages, going on a world tour with her family and building a wooden house in a forest, Caroline now lives between a small seaside town in Vendée (France) and a small seaside town in the Eastern Cape (South Africa) with her son, a black cat and her husband, South African architect-turned-author Ryan von Ruben.
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Published May 26th 2015 by Gallic Books (first published March 18th 2009)