“Iain McGarvie-Munn writes eloquently and passionately about his life, his loves, and his castle. In I Had A Château in Provence, the author takes his audience on an exquisite and powerful journey – from hardship to nobility, from Central America to the south of France – that readers will not soon forget. This autobiography is a true page-turner; what seems like a fantasy is every bit as real as it gets.”
Gail Eisnitz, author of “Slaughterhouse” and winner of the Albert Schweitzer Medal
“I couldn’t put this book down. From the first page, the action was as good as any Hollywood plot—but it was all the true story of Iain McGarvie-Munn’s life. An inspiration for all to take risks and follow your heart.”Jane Pitt
“Truth is stranger than fiction so they say. Amazingly so here. I couldn’t put this book down. You don’t have to be a franco-phile to appreciate the story, which is astounding, surreal, spooky and even humorous all at once. A fascinating journey through the dangerous jungles of Guatemalan royalty to the vineyards of Provence — and lots of drama in between — a must read.”Robin Mc
“When walking down the street, I often look at people I pass by and wonder about their lives. … Have they had an easy go of it this time round? Has there been deep sorrow? Great challenge? What mythic, archetypal-form have their lives taken, to what crucial crossroads have they come – and come through – and with what degree of scathe?
“Sometimes we get lucky and find out. Sometimes someone looks at their life through the lens of art, and presents to us a gift in the form of film, dance, music, written word. Sometimes we see but a slivver. Sometimes the door is opened wide and we are welcomed in.
“Iain McGarvie-Munn has opened his door to us – many doors — and all the windows and the attic vents, and handed us the key to his (prodigious) wine cellar and to exchanges which happened there.
“As the story unfolded of renovating his ancient 75-room castle, I was transfixed – both by how he pieced back together a huge crumbling heap of stone, and also by the attendant human drama — the melodrama, the delicious melodrama. If I did not have on good faith from a reliable source that this is a book of nonfiction, I might wonder how much of the audacious, preposterous events had instead actually been fabricated. An example: When as a teenager he fell into being an accessory to the kidnapping of his younger sister, the grand-daughter of a former president of Guatemala – which included transporting her across international lines (!)
“But this is not just a story of physical restoration and scintillating human drama. It is also about how the long, winding journey of restoring this chateau helped bring about healing for the townspeople for what this edifice had too long represented. Age-old, long-simmering, justifiable resentment by peasant/serf for the chateau’s various lord-and-master dictators — held fast over the centuries — began to dissolve. Through McGarvie-Munn’s envisioning and carrying out creative, imaginative uses for the again-viable building – – e.g., educational and community arts events — a new feeling and image of the chateau began to take shape within the townspeople. A symbol of master-serf oppression and resentment became transformed into a place of civic pride.
“The last four years’ work at the chateau were particularly intriguing to me. In those four years, through the invaluable — and necessary –influence of the new love of his life — the remarkable Juliet — the ghosts holding hostage the chateau over the centuries at last loosened their grip and were dispelled. This last work brought true completion to the physical renovation, one which gave the edifice a good and possible role for the future.
“I am glad McGarvie-Munn immersed himself so fully in living his life. I am glad he is one of the people who have looked thru the lens of art and have written stories of their lives. I am glad that thru this book, we, now, get to immerse ourselves in his life. I feel enriched by the telling – which is what I think art is all about.”
Lisa Anne Lindberg
“We are used to being pleasantly overwhelmed by movies and stories full of danger, daring exploits, love affairs, mysteries and passions, and stories of lives extremely different from our own. Less often do we get to spend many hours listening to such stories directly from the one who lived them all. Here, with this book, we get to do that.
“I can’t imagine anyone not being fascinated and compelled to read all of it, and after reading it, wanting to ask: “How did you do this!??” “How did you go through so much – suffering, delight, passion, drama, relentless and brilliant work, betrayal, and redemption? How did you go through all of that and a) stay alive, and b) learn from the worst and take the best and c) create from all of it a deeply grounded life, full of insight, intelligence, love, and transcendence?
“Somehow your life, I would say to the author, was a marvelous and intelligent filter, that kept you whole. Maybe also, you have really good and closely watching angels.”
I loved the (I HAD A CHATEAU IN PROVENCE.) and hated having to put it down many times to tend to business clients, my children, grand children and my new puppy’s training & needs.
I could “SEE” what the author was saying, felt his emotions, smelled the cold fresh air of France & heard the birds churping.
As in a movie, rolling so lightly and smoothly with a life time story, so real, so unique & true, showing people as Real People are anywhere in the world
Reading this; has added so much to my soul. I am thankful for “Iain” making his life experience so available to enrich our own.
“I thoroughly enjoyed “I had a chateau in Provence,” and found myself transformed from the Guatemalan countryside to the hardships of being thrown into boarding school in England to the restoration of a chateau in the South of France. Sometimes truth is harder to believe than fiction….this book is riveting and hard to put down. The author is able to bring the reader into his emotional world– from the sense of adventure to flying undetected into Guatemala when kidnapping his sister to the grounds of the chateau filled with music and art. The vulnerability in which he shares his life is both poignant and awe inspiring. Not only will this be a best seller, but a high drama movie. Bravo for a well crafted telling of an amazing life story.”Amazon Customer
“A wonderful read”, I loved it!”Marc E. Hill-Smith
“A fast-moving adventure book, Freedom Bound…will resonate with young and older minds alike that animals do not belong in cages for our amusement.”
Ingrid Newkirk, president and founder, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)