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Praise for A Gift From Brittany

This book is indeed a gift…A child, a house, a dog, a new country, another language, a snake, a man: all tumble about in glorious chaos in this soul-felt memoir so beautifully written. It’s lively and lovely and funny, too.”

-Malachy McCourt, author of Malachy McCourt’s History of Ireland and A Monk Swimming

The story of a young artist from Chicago who leaves her American heritage and is transplanted to rural France, A Gift from Brittany paints a moving picture of Price’s struggle and survival. She retains her talent and finds herself forever strengthened.”

-Joan Anderson, author of A Year by the Sea and An Unfinished Marriage

A Gift From Brittany is a beautiful, yet sometimes heart-breaking, coming-of-age story… Price’s writing itself is a form of artwork, it’s [sic] beauty and detailed descriptions paint a portrait of a woman’s life before your eyes. I became completely wrapped up in the book within the first several pages. It is a profound piece of writing that will stay with you for some time.”

-Jenn, Jenn’s Bookshelves
To read the full review, visit Jenn’s Bookshelves

Memoirs are one of my favorite genres, but it’s been a while since I’ve read one that I loved. It seems like most of the memoirs out are about what a terrible childhood the author had, and how that affected the rest of their life. A Gift from Brittany is about as far from this kind of memoir as you can get, and it reminded me of why I fell in love with memoirs in the first place.”

-Melissa M., Shhh I’m Reading
To read the full review, visit Shhh I’m Reading

Marjorie Price writes with the eye of an artist, with detail and a love of color. Her descriptions of her painting and of landscape easily transport you to Brittany, its farms, coastline, and the feel of its people.”

-Harvee Lau, Book Dilettante
To read the full review, visit Book Dilettante

This is a story that is at once heartwarming and heart-breaking. Here is a peek at a European way of life that endured for centuries and then completely died out in a few decades. It is one of the best memoirs that I have ever read and I highly recommend it. It would be an excellent choice for book clubs.”

-Carey, The Tometraveller’s Weblog
To read the full review, visit The Tometraveller’s Weblog

…this was a wonderful glimpse into the lives of not only a strong and lively community of villagers, but of deep friendship, the lives and struggles of artists, and how one artist in particular has to find a way to claim her voice.”

-Nicole, Linus’s Blanket
To read the full review, visit Linus’s Blanket

I was a French major in college and still harbor the dream of someday living in a small European village, fully immersing myself in the culture…. I wanted to see how an artist captures life’s experiences in the written word, anticipating beautifully vivid, visual descriptions of the common everyday normal occurrences [sic]…. A Gift From Brittany did not disappoint on any account.

-Molly Tortoro, My Cozy Book Nook
To read the full review, visit My Cozy Book Nook

What Readers Are Saying

A Gift from Brittany is a touch of Heaven! As a busy journalist forever looking for good reading material to take me out of my job, I picked up your book on Saturday evening at Worlds Biggest Bookstore (downtown Toronto). Finished reading it yesterday. All I can say is how poignant, how haunting, how memorable your story! How talented you are! So glad I found you!

-Judi McLeod, Toronto, Canada

I was literally lifted out of my chair by the power of your voice at the (Baltimore) Book Festival and from the honest and soulful depiction of the isolation of the life at that farmhouse; it was sorta like Truman Capote’s description of the cold bleak plains in In Cold Blood. I read the first chapters Sunday evening, and then put it down for a couple of days and then stayed up most of the night reading it through ’til about 4 a.m. Wednesday morning. Seldom do you run into a painter who can write or a writer who can paint. One part I truly love in your memoir is that you might never know the answers to some of life’s most perplexing questions ( I think this is a trademark line from Garrison Keillor’s character Guy Noir, now that I think about it!!). Oh well, I’ve rattled on too long. Now I’m going to your website!!”
-Ross Peddicord, co-publisher Maryland Life Magazine

…a sudden, violent summer storm in the fields of new-mown hay; the tide receding from a rocky shore; a black-clad Breton woman gathering mussels in her knotted apron; the brilliant artist husband whose dark side gradually emerges – all are captured in quick, deft strokes and integrated with Price’s own journey to self-awareness as an artist. Most of all, this is a story of friendship – of the author’s enduring friendship with the remarkable Jeanne Montrelay, and of the richness of a bond between two women who have nothing in common except greatness of heart.”
-Barbara A. Lee, New  York, NY

Dear Ms. Price, I have just finished reading your memoir, A Gift From Brittany, for the second time. It stays in my corner cupboard where the books I love to read over and over again reside. You know, by the end of the book, I realize how much you and Jeanne were so very much alike; despite all the obvious differences. What a treasure you have given the world in sharing this story. Thank you again. Yours,

-Marti Corle, Lancaster, PA

Dear Marjorie, Bonjour. Demat! I am overwhelmed by the beauty and message of your book. Having visited Morbihan just twice, it is my imaginary home–the place I adore, think about constantly, strive to visit again and see everyday in my waking thoughts. It is a place of unimaginable beauty with such a rich heritage. I could see every image through your words. I saw the Golfe du Morbihan sparkling in the distance, the rolling hills, the rocky beaches, the islands of Ile aux Moines and Ile d’Arz, Belle-Ile–a place of fog and mystery on the horizon from our viewpoint on the Cote Sauvage where we, too, walked the paths which dropped precipitously to the sea below. I didn’t want to finish your book because I didn’t want the visions and the dream of living there to end! How lucky you are to have lived there in another time when life was so much simpler. The Breton people intrigue me and draw me in. I wish I could have met and known Jeanne. I felt her spirit and her love for the land and her small circle of life. Your words will ensure that Jeanne will live on forever, in your heart and in the hearts of all who met her through your words. Thank you so much for this amazing story. I will never forget it and will read it many times. The people and places are timeless. It’s as if time stopped, even while I was devouring every word, looking forward to the next chapter, and dreading its inevitable end which brought me to tears. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. Mille fois merci.. Vive la Bretagne et les Bretons. Kenavo.
Cheryl Shaw, Guilford, CT

“…When you wake up at five in the morning to continue reading, you know that the book has pulled you in! Written with both passion and restraint, the book resonates with the reader throughout. You cannot help but connect with this remarkable woman as she experiences life, love, loss and, most of all, friendship. It takes place in Paris and in Brittany, but really applies anywhere because of its honesty and spirit. It is a DON’T-MISS book!”

-Elaine Brandon Morshead, Menlo Park, CA

“Ms. Price, I just finished reading your book “A Gift From Brittany,” and I fell in love not only with the characters, you, Jeanne and Danielle, but also with the cows, the hamlet of La Salle and the French countryside! I felt as if I were reliving your experience with every page.   I read this wonderful memoir over the weekend and even woke up in the middle of night to continue reading it!  I was incredibly moved by your relationship with Jeanne, I too had the wonderful gift of having a friendship with an elderly neighbor lady when I was a teen.  I applaud your work and hope that you have another book in the works soon!  Please continue to write, you are a gifted author and natural storyteller!  I look forward to reading another of your marvelous stories! Sincerely yours,
– Cinde G. Hathaway, Wilmington, N.C.

Dear Marjorie, This morning I finished your beautiful memoir on Jeanne and La Salle. Your story touched me not only because you were so valiant in the face of love lost, but also because I think your story touches on universal themes.  Thank you for writing it for all of us who have savored friendships that saved us and now only have poignant memories to cherish. A book club meets at my house June 30th.  Picture twelve women of varied ages and stages who all love the written word and every other month come together to drink wine, share books plus all the rich blessings of our lives. This month A Gift from Brittany will be the selection I share with my friends. Thank you for this gift.

-Claudia Knowlton, Washington D.C.

“I can’t remember the last time I read a book cover to cover, in one sitting … but that is exactly my experience with Marjorie Price … The book truly captures the essence of life and the personal transitions we all encounter … and how one person can make all the difference.”
-Arnold D.Kaluzny, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Hello Marjorie,
I’m a dyed in the wool Francophile and your book is just the most wonderful thing I’ve read in ages.
I feel I, too, knew Jeanne. What a special lady and what a wonderful experience, even through all the heartache. You must cherish the coiffe she gave you. I have a few which I’ve bought but none with a story behind it like yours. Please know how very much your book touched my heart.

-Doris Long, South Carolina

Dear Ms. Price, I posted an Amazon review saying I had read it twice, and indeed I treasure it and will read it again. Thank you so much for writing it! I wish you every good thing with it and that people will find and treasure it as I do.”
-Stephanie Cowell (author of Marrying Mozart and Claude & Camille: A Novel of Claude Monet.)

Dear Marjorie, Just finished reading your book, “A Gift from Brittany.” After I put my kids to bed last night, I stayed up reading into the wee hours of the morning, then at the gym I read on my treadmill and bike for an hour, and was sorry to finish it over breakfast! I wished it would go on and on. You are a beautiful writer. I’ve read many well-known, famous and even prolific writers, and you shine brightly in comparison to their good works. You’re better! May that bring a smile to your face and grace your day. Know that your writing touched me. It was a great experience to be a reader to your story.
–Candace Whitman

“Dear Marjorie, I spent the long weekend with your book and have been talking about it nonstop to friends and family. As a memoir, it is truly profound and exemplifies the best of that genre of writing. The tale you tell is a constantly inspiring one. Having been a friend to Jeanne Montrelay (who is central to your story and who we all know and love after reading your book) is among your fine accomplishments in life. I know that your story will continue to resonate with me, and remain vivid.”
– David Masello, New York City

“Good morning! I am re-reading your book, A Gift from Brittany, which I picked for my book club choice. From the moment I opened the book, I was enthralled with your story and setting. I have never been to Brittany, yet felt like I was there, with you and Jeanne. This is one of my favorite books and I wanted to share it with my literary friends. One of my best friends recommended it to me, since we both are artists. She is a watercolorist, poet and calligrapher and I teach art to children, do ceramics, photography, jewelry, etc…
Thank you for sharing your story so eloquently and inspiring other women to follow their muse. Artfully,”
– Victoria Carnate, Oregon County

Dear Marjorie, I just finished your memoir and had a good cry. I thank you for giving me such a rich experience. You are a magnificent writer, taking the reader into your world, your heart and emotions. How wonderful that you chose to share your singular experience with the world.”

-Diana Rothenberg

Dear Ms. Price. I am a retired schoolteacher and have never written to an author before - you are the first, and I would be remiss if I did not write to you. I was totally mesmerized by your memoir A Gift from Brittany. It tugged at my heart, as have many other books, but never did they leave me with this certain “je ne sais quoi.” When you described your artwork in the novel, I could see it. The imagery was so vivid. Your memoir touched my heart profoundly, and I thank you for sharing your story with us.”
- Carol Swetz

Dear Marjorie: …I just finished reading (your book) and enjoyed it very much- in fact I could not put it down. I was so impressed with your descriptions of Jeanne- I really thought she came alive for me. She became the real character behind the Breton women that I remembered from paintings by Gauguin and Van Gogh. What a wonderful gift to have had a friend like that. P.S. My wife (also an artist/ painter/web designer) is looking forward to reading your memoir too!!”
- Merrill Halpern

I am a devout Francophile and gobble up anything and everything to do with France. I recently stumbled upon your book in a shop in Connecticut. I’ve just finished reading A Gift from Brittany. I loved it. Thank you for sharing your story. I plan to recommend it to all my artist friends! Encore une fois, merci.”
- Linda Hampton Smith

Thank you for writing this lovely, atmospheric book. I loved it so and can’t seem to get it off my mind. I wept when I finished it. I will treasure the book forever and will re-read it often. I never met Jeanne, but will remember her always. Again, thank you for sharing her with me.”
-Sandy Owens

Dear Marjorie, I don’t know where to begin with how much I have enjoyed your marvelous book! It was so beautifully written, humorous, and heart warming. I read the book in two days because I didn’t want to put it down! I felt like I was actually there. Thank you so much for sharing such a tender and heart-felt story with me.”
-Sarah Webb, New York City

Dear Marjorie. How serendipitous life can be… to end up in the middle of nowhere in rural France, across the road from a stranger that changes your life forever. Thanks for a great read that gives one hope in humanity.”
-Joan Whitney

Dear Ms. Price, Your memoir is truly a gift to your readers. I began your book yesterday afternoon and finished it early this AM ( in tears). I did not want your story to end and have thought of you and Jeanne this entire day. “A Gift From Brittany” is my Book Club’s choice for the month of May. On the evening of the meeting of “Book End Babes, “I will provide the dessert for our gathering … you know what that will be! Thank you for the reading pleasure you have provided and the deeply inspirational, touching, lovely story of your young life. This “gift” will remain on my bookshelf to be shared with others and will remain in my heart forever.”
-Christine Baker