Raising Olives in Provence: A Guide for Body and Soul


A fun-filled portrait of Provence told by an American bestselling author who knows France intimately and unwraps people and places with devastating insight—and laugh-out-loud humor.

Americans have long had a love affair with Provence: its glamour, its mystique, its foreignness. But never have they had a guide like Ken Timmerman. Bursting with humorous stories about local characters and vivid description of French landscapes and customs gleaned from thirty-five years in the country, Raising Olives in Provence tells the story of how the author improbably came to renovate a run-down house and raise olive trees in the hills above Saint-Tropez. From olive presses to truffle markets, from Templar hostelries to lunch at a beachside club with the king and queen of Sweden, Timmerman takes us to places and introduces us to people we would never find on our own.

In his other life as a war correspondent and investigative reporter, Timmerman deals with the horrors and betrayals of a world gone mad, always returning to this hillside in the south of France as a refuge. But even here, intrigue and treachery lie just beneath the surface, along with mysterious visitors on the hillside, an olive thief, phony artists and wannabe aristocrats, and the endless love adventures of his French neighbors.

Love, faith, marriage, and friendship—with a sprinkling of salt, thyme, and some olive oil, please! And don’t forget the rosé.