Posted by authorcamilson
Fragments of French, an Unexpected Journey of the Heart
by Wanda St. Hilaire
GENRE: Memoir (travel)
After a harsh brush with her mortality, shadowed by a premature divorce, Wanda St. Hilaire pledges to be true to her primary passion—living ardently through travel. On the fateful day her life intersects with Jean-François, a charming Frenchman, on a bustling street in Lisbon, every fiber of her being feels as though she has finally entered the doorway to a magical world that she knew existed since she was a young girl.
St. Hilaire turns a complicated romantic ballet full of missteps into a collage of people, places, and cultures. Fragments of French is an exquisitely detailed travelogue of Portugal, Canada, France, and Mexico, filled with minor characters who delight with their humanity. However, what really makes this tale a standout is a gift for pacing and description to rival Tom Wolfe.
The hero’s journey is not only for the characters of our favorite stories or mythical legends. At some point, each of us receives the call to adventure. Fate summons the hero; we can refuse the call, or step into something that will turn our lives upside down, and potentially change everything we know to be true.
From feeling “completely disarmed, no fortress standing”, to embracing her untethered strength, the author turns this account of living life out loud into lessons for us all.
Our day-to-day lives typically flow with the minutiae of the known. There is the mundane and the comfortable; like the ratty robe that we wrap around ourselves to watch movies in, with a hot cup of tea from our favorite mug. There are our unvarying routines, our jobs, the people we know, and the places we frequent, which give us stability and a sense of certainty in an uncertain world.
And occasionally, there are the extraordinary moments when a life-altering fork in the road appears, when constancy vanishes underneath us and we are presented with an opportunity that excites us, stretches us far beyond the boundaries of our self-imposed restrictions, and scares the bejesus out of us. We have the freedom to choose, but we cannot know the long-term ramifications, or predict the final outcome of either decision, be it yay or nay.
Had I picked the road most traveled, this house would look the same as it did three months ago. My heartbeat would be steady and, at this moment, I would be asleep in my big brass bed, safely tucked under a thick, goose-down duvet. Monday morning, I would awaken to a flurry of faxes and phone calls in the small office upstairs, and then race off on a snowy road-trip for a week of intensive work. But that pathway may have led me to a deep gorge of regret, and a lifetime of what-ifs. I could not take that chance, ending up an old, disenchanted woman, retelling what might have been.
No one I know has done this before; I have no frame of reference. I am taking the fork to the far left, one that holds an exciting adventure fraught with potential peril. I have overcome my fears by nullifying them one by one. I am leaping without a net.
I crawl into my sleeping bag and toss restlessly, a barrage of questions battering my bewildered brain. I will leave tomorrow on a jet plane for the most unknown journey of my life. I do not know what awaits me, and I do not know when I will be back again.
AUTHOR Bio and Links
Her prime passion is the thrill of travel—of experiencing other cultures, traditions, lifestyles, and languages—thus expanding her perspective.
Wanda St. Hilaire has a predilection and passion for all things Latin, and she believes life is too short not to do what you love, where you love. She spends time writing in Mexico for inspiration, and to escape the frozen landscapes of Alberta.
Through writing, St. Hilaire shares what she’s learned from the high peaks of adventure and love, to the dark valleys of illness and heartbreak. Her mission is to help people overcome the self, and tap into their wise inner guidance system. Her wish is to inspire others to live true to their unique and beautiful nature.
Fragments of French on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Fragments-French-Unexpected-Journey-Heart/dp/189433115X/ref=sr_1_1
Companion Poetry Book, Of Love, Life, and Journeys
(Inspired during the story of my travel memoir, this collection of poems and verse was first published in 2004 and became a Canadian bestseller for poetry. This second edition was created as a companion book to Fragments of French,)
Twitter: @spicytraveler (https://twitter.com/spicytraveler
Wanda St. Hilaire will be awarding a ribboned beret & Paris coin bag with an E-book of Fragments of French to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. (International offer)
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