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French Exchange with Rubies

Author(s): Stephanie McCarthy

Location(s): Marseilles (Marseille), Carcassone

Genre(s): Autobiography/Memoirs

Era(s): 1960s to 2017



When Elodie’s parents rejected her, she was sent to live with her controlling grandmother in Marseille. The only sign of her mother’s supposed affection for her were gifts of ruby necklaces which Elodie believed to be genuine. When we met in Marseille at the age of sixteen it was the beginning of a friendship which lasted for decades. After moving to France with my husband, we encountered her again, as well as meeting characters ranging from a vigneron who set up his own organic wine company and an old lady who had once worked on the Apollo 11 mission. We attended a wedding organised by the French Foreign Legion, took part in the local grape harvest and I taught briefly in a French school. Although much of this book is about my life in France, it is as much Elodie’s story of love and rejection as it is my own.

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