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The House in France, Gully Wells

20 of the smartest nonfiction titles for summer reading, CSMonitor.com

Six years after her mother’s death, Gully Wells finally felt she could return to the house in Provence.  While there, she recalls coming of age in the 1960s amidst the liberated behavior of London’s intelligentsia: Alan Bennett, Isaiah Berlin, Bertrand Russell, and Jonathan Miller; later there would also be Martin Amis, Christopher Hitchens, and Robert Kennedy. Woven throughout the memoir is the house on the hill between Toulon and Marseilles, and the smells, food, and markets of Provence.

Praise for The House in France:

“Much of the memoir involves the dazzling intelligentsia of London, New York and Paris in the 1960s, but my favorite passages are the ones that feature the house—the meals, the days at the beach, the long summer hours.”—  Los Angeles Times

“This is Wells’ first book, and she writes with a confident lightness of touch. The same sanguine, modest sensibility that saw her through her unconventional childhood is what provides its considerable charm.”—Bloomberg

“Sex, sun, and British boho-intellectualism—what more could one want from a summer book?”—New York Magazine

“The House in France combines travel writing, personal narrative and a family history that is brilliant, tragic and dense with bold face names.”—New York Observer

“A delightful memoir”—Washington Post

“Wells is a breathtakingly frank, nimbly hilarious, and sensuously precise memoirist and portraitist…. Desire and ambition, creativity and fame, betrayal and love, all take on new dimensions in Wells’ sparkling and spiky look back at protean and brilliant iconoclasts.”—Booklist (starred)

“… an engaging tribute to her mother, journalist Dee Wells, and her own peripatetic and privileged lifestyle as she was raised by London insiders… Those familiar with the writings of Martin Amis, Harry Crosby, and Hugh Gaitskill will be pleased with this walk down memory lane.” – Publishers Weekly

“Gully describes her coming-of-age and her family, friends, and lovers honestly and entertainingly, with plenty of gossipy detail.”—Library Journal 

“This rollicking tale of their lives and loves also records an extraordinary period in history with an affectionate eye.”— Daily Mail (UK)

An “hilariously scathing and searingly frank tale of her transition from gymslip London schoolgirl to a British incarnation of a Bardot-like voluptuary.”—Vogue

“In her tender, witty memoir, Gully Wells immortalizes her impossibly well-connected parents—journalist Dee Wells and philosopher A.J Ayer—and their magical life at their beloved summer home.”—Marie Claire

“Acclaimed journalist Gully Wells has had an eventful life to say the least, and this colourful memoir offers a fascinating, and often funny, insight into the people and places that have shaped it… a great read, full of the colour and liberated attitudes of the sixties.”—Living France (UK)

“A superbly entertaining memoir full of delicious anecdote, witty portraiture, and unexpected pathos.”—Zoë Heller

 “Travel, celebrity, infidelity—and a generous dose of Provence. Charming and fascinating.” —Peter Mayle

“Pitch-perfect, lyrical, poignant – this truly lovely book, and which tells of memorable lives lived out in memorable places,  is blessed with a tincture of real substance, rendering it a portrait of time, place and people that manages to be both impeccable and, dare one say it,  important.” – Simon Winchester

Copyright Irene Skolnick Literary Agency 2016