A Year in Provence is a memoir written by Peter Mayle about his and his family's dream life in Provence, specifically in the Luberon Mountians of France between the villages of Menerbes and Bonnieux. As he phrases it, he and his family "looked with an addict's longing at photographs of village markets and vineyards, dreamed of being woken up by the sun slanting through the bedroom window." So, he and his family decided to move from grey England to sunny Provence.
He bought a 200-year-old farmhouse to renovate, with stone walls, a vineyard, lots of trees, a swimming pool, and no central heating. However, the moment he bought the dream home, the terrors set in. In January, a wind the French call the mistral set in, bringing in freezing northwesterly winds at 110 miles per hour. The wind ravaged the farm house by cracking pipes, tearing down roof tiles, and ripping windows off hinges. His story is also rich with amusing characters, such as all of the unusual individuals contracted to work on the farm house. It's also full of rich anecdotes, such as the annual goat race.