Author: Caroline Vermalle
Blurb: At the age of eighty-three, retired butcher George Nicoleau is about to set off on the greatest adventure of his life. George and his neighbor Charles have long dreamt of a road trip, driving the 3,500 kilometres that make up the stages of the Tour de France. And now that George’s over-protective daughter has gone to South America, it’s time to seize the moment.
But just when he feels free of family ties, George’s granddaughter Adèle starts calling him from London, and he finds himself promising to text her as he travels around France, although he doesn’t even know how to use a mobile.
George is plagued by doubts, health worries, and an indifference to modern technology. And yet—might the journey still prove to be everything he had hoped for?
Review: Massive thank you to Sophie Goodfellow for sending me a review copy of this book. George’s Grand Tour is about eighty-three year old George who sets out with his Neighbour, Charles, to embark on the Tour De France – but with a difference. Because of their age and various health worries, the pair decide to drive the route of the tour and have a road trip. George’s daughter is away on a trip of her own and it’s his only chance to go and live a dream of his own without anyone trying to stop him but his granddaughter Adéle decides to get in touch after years of no contact however, they end up re-kindling their relationship through the art of text messaging.
I instantly loved the sound of this book; everything about the blurb made the hairs prick up on my arms and a smile creep across my face. There’s not enough books like this – about the much older generation and that reason alone I was eager to get reading. I also loved the quirky, summery cover! Although I wasn’t aware of many of the places featured in this book, it was not effort to get sucked into the French culture and picture all the beautiful places George and Charles visit along their journey.
This was literally one of the easiest books I have ever read in my life – there was absolutely no effort involved to get from chapter to chapter and at no point did I struggle with it. It kept a good pace the whole way through and all-in-all the book is only 191 pages long; so for a relatively short book, there’s a whole lot of life and soul in it. It really is a hidden gem this one and I think will do exceptionally well. The characters are fantastic and I completely indulged in reading about Charles and George and their road trip. Some scenes, for example, When they’re talking Pig Latin in a restaurant and George is learning to text. Also when they’re trying to direct George’s phone calls from his land-line to his mobile made me laugh out loud from the hilarity and the realism of the situations.
This book hit home quite hard. My grandad is called George and the main character is called Adéle – which is my middle name. And although that may seem silly, it was one of those things that just sort of hit me, near the end of the book and made me realise how important what I just read really was. It’s so full of joy and fun and the idea that it’s never, ever too late to go out there and live your dream. That family is important and although you may be 60 years apart in age, you can still be friends with your granddad. That life is short and there’s only so much time to let people know how much they mean to you.
It turned dramatically from fun and light-hearted to real and emotional which although may be sob like a child, made me realise that in life, that’s what happens. An absolutely delightful book I’ve had the pleasure of reading; fun but at the same time incredibly poignant and life-affirming. Now, I’m off to visit my granddad, George…
Rating: 5 Stars 🌟