The Girlfriend Factor...

I can't tell you how excited I was when a brown paper package 
appeared in my mailbox at Tahilla Farm.

I had been counting the days for it's arrival.

I tore it open, headed straight to our half constructed porch,
pulled up a chair in between the bzzzz, clang and boom 
of the chaos around me
and let myself get lost in the pages of Sharon Santoni's
 first book...

I can say with hand over heart that it was 
everything I hoped it would be and more.
If you love all things French..
you will love this book 
and even if that is not your thing..
you will still love this book.

My Stylish French Girlfriends 
by Sharon Santoni

Sharon Santoni is a fellow blogger who pushed her first 'Publish' blogging button around the same time that I did (2009). Somehow, somewhere in the blogging universe..we found each other, the way girlfriends do. I first met Sharon in person when we lived in England and wrote 'My French Country Brocante in England'  to mark the occasion here and again with 'A Country Ride and Midsummer Fair in Kent' here
It was fun to go back and read what I wrote...

                        "I had the delightful pleasure of meeting Sharon and her charming daughter Ella
yesterday. There was no question in my mind when I saw the graceful woman across

the grounds that I had found Sharon. When she looked up and said my name

it was magic! Sharon is every inch the beautiful, warm and gracious woman

that you imagine from her blog. It speaks volumes for Ella as well as she
truly is her mother's daughter."

June, 2011

What I saw and felt when I first met Sharon is the essence of her book, My Stylish French Girlfriends. Sharon writes about twenty of her French girlfriends, how they met and what it was that connected them to each other. She tells the stories..about the friendships, homes, gardens and travels in the same warm and gracious way that she writes on her blog. It is a book you will want to come back to, over and over again.

As you read the stories, you start to will know these women, Celestina, Charlotte, Sophie, Claire, Evelyne and the many more, they will either remind you of yourself or your friends or have elements that you aspire to. And that is what I loved...finding my friends between the pages and the inspiration that flowed from page to page. 

The gorgeous Sharon Santoni (front, 3rd from rt.) and her
Stylish French Girlfriends

I do not want to give it all away, the surprise is the best part of the book. All I can say is do yourself and buy this book...while you are at it, buy another for a friend! 

Which brings me to....


As I turned the pages of Sharon's book I started to think about each of my girlfriends and how we met. I made a list and jotted a few words after each one. I was surprised how quickly the memories came flowing back.  I can remember the spark that ignited each friendship and it felt just like this...

Two peas in a pod...

You now that feeling? That look between friends that sets you into a fit of giggles, the one that says "I get you and you get me?" Sometimes you have no idea what you are laughing matter, you do not need to. Laughter can be the best any age..even from a highchair.

I call connecting with someone in that special way...kismet. Call it what you like, kismet, lady luck, destiny, chance, karma, predestination, providence..when you find that know happy days are ahead.

It has been the year of 'the girlfreind' for me.  Reconnecting with friends scattered around the globe, from my first true friend at the age of 14 to my most recent friend at 58.  I have had the good fortune to connect with some in person, others in words...the years and miles do not seem to matter. If you get each have a girlfriend for life.

Here's to girlfriends...everywhere! 

and to the French women who so generously
opened their homes to Sharon to create this book.
Bravo ladies!

Click here to see the book in action.

More from Sharon Santoni...

A great review of My French Stylish Girlfriends by
D.A. Wolf from Daily Plate of Crazy .. here

Video clips from
25 Stages of Best Female Friendships here


  1. I read this today with tears in my eyes for I lost my BFF a week and half ago from a stroke. She was 63. I had two brothers and she was the sister I never had. She was a one of kind soul. She was my Matron of Honor when I got married and she was there in court with me when I got divorced. She always had my back and I had hers. I will miss her the rest of my life! Keep your friends close. Call when you think about them, better yet get together for lunch if you can, and most of all never take them for granted! I will be ordering this book today - I almost did a few weeks ago! I'm sorry if this has a melancholy tone. I have laughed and smiled just as much as I have cried with wonderful memories of my Best Friend Forever!

    1. I am so so sorry for your loss and am touched that you wrote to say this post resonated with you. It's rare when you can connect with someone at that level...when a friendship gets you heart and soul. Your advice is spot on especially as we get older, so easy to get caught up in life and forget who makes it so special. Thank you for commenting, as always, I enjoy hearing from you. xx

  2. Isn't it wonderful that so many bloggers are publishing books? Sounds like one for my Christmas list.

    1. Yes Loree! And this one is perfect for a Christmas list! ;)

  3. Dear Jeanne
    Thank you so much for this lovely review! Making the book was one of the most fun things I have ever done, and to read that people like yourself are enjoying the result is just the icing on the cake!
    You are so kind to say such nice things about the times we met up in the UK, definitely one of the highlights of my blogging experience, merci mon amie

    1. You are very welcome Sharon, always a pleasure. xx

  4. Jeanne...what a fabulous review...I'm going to head off now and buy Sharon's book it sounds wonderful!
    Your friendship images made me smile; I love the two peas in a pod :)
    I have changed my blog url it is now would you be kind enough to change it in your blog roll...I've changed to WordPress and have lost all my followers :( if you would like you can sign up for blog notifications here
    Thank you so much, Jeanne....looking forward to reading Sharon's book xx

    1. Thank you Catherine! I have updated my list, subscribed and think I am back in action again. Enjoy Sharon's book, I am sure you will! :)

  5. I've never had a BFF. For some reason the Universe saw fit to make my Journey in this lifetime a solitary one, despite a few false hopes along the way, which only ended in hurt and disappointment. So looking at these adorable pictures of girlfriends fitting in and feeling a special simpatico with each other just brings me to melancholy. But I have a loyal husband (of 30 years now) a beautiful son who is terrific to chat with when I can as he no longer lives at home, and a brother, who although 8 years my junior is intricately linked in my inner world despite being 5 hour plane journey away; we get to speak on the phone quite regularly. I take comfort from knowing that even when I can't speak to him, that he is thinking of me and I of him, and that we wish each other the best in life. My husband is not a talker. My daughter has a severe mental illness and personality disorder. I am alone. Lucky to you, girls who have besties. Still, now in middle age I think I am used to being alone and would find it a bit strange to have someone at my shoulder. Maybe, maybe not...I wouldn't know.

    1. LJ...thank you for sharing your thoughts on BFF, it can be elusive, there is no doubt about it. While I enjoy the girlfriends I have connected with over the years, I can not single out any one BFF. I imagine many readers would feel the same. Your husband, son, daughter and brother must take comfort in the love you share with them and you in the love they feel for you. Wishing you well...and thank you again for commenting. :)

  6. I too purchased TWO Books!One for me and one for a dear FRIEND I have yet to meet over yonder in FRANCE!The book was DELICIOUS........although I wanted more on SHARON!!!! I have had the good fortune to meet SHARON and her GORGEOUS PUPS GHETTO & GIBSON.IT makes a lovely GIFT and it was SO fun to see how and what these WOMEN DO!XX

    1. Agree Elizabeth, I am sorry I missed the Brocante tour with you. It looked like SO much fun! xx

  7. How lovely of you to mention my review, Jeanne. (The Contessa just told me to pop over!)

    I could not agree more with you about Sharon's book. A delight on so many levels. And here's to girlfriends all across the globe -- such a gift of discovery.


    1. You are very I think you said it best. It is a great review. Love your writing style! xx

  8. Just wait!!!You Contessa will be a feature this week!!!On D.A.Wolf blog A Daily Plate of Crazy!!😃


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