French Dive: Living More with Less in the South of France by Eric Freeze

“In the fall of 2014, educators Eric and Rixa Freeze moved with their young family to Old Nice, a medieval town-within-a-city on the famed Côte d’Azur. They bought a 700-square-foot dive, an apartment in need of renovation just a couple blocks from the Mediterranean. They were a family with a plan: to live differently. No home in the suburbs with a two-car garage, no bedroom for every child, no 24-hour Walmart. French Dive chronicles the Freeze family’s integration into a culture where large families aren’t all treated alike. What they find—spearfishing for food, renting their car to strangers, fixing and selling old furniture from the garbage depot—is that a city gives back the more you give to it.”

French Dive is an interesting, engaging read. The title, of course, is a play on words, as the author and his family move temporarily from Canada to France, where they purchase and renovate an apartment some might consider a “dive,” meanwhile the author delves or dives into the sea, figuratively and literally, spending time spearfishing in the hope it’s a viable option to help feed a family on a tight travellers’ budget. Not to mention the fact it’s a fun, demanding and rewarding hobby and sport.

If you enjoy stories of fish out of water, so to speak, or individuals moving elsewhere to create a new home, and in part a new life, French Dive will appeal. The writing’s agreeable, the story relatable, whether you’ve personally tackled a similar undertaking or are curious as to what it might be like to live abroad, this book provides well-polished windows through which you can catch a few glimpses. The reader can’t help but learn a bit more of the challenges, opportunities and successes that await, allowing you to decide for yourself if an adventure like this might be yours one day as well.

About the Author: Eric Freeze grew up in southern Alberta, in the shadow of the Canadian Rockies. He studied creative writing and African-American literature in the US, getting a PhD at Ohio University and eventually teaching at Wabash College in Indiana where he is a tenured professor. He writes both fiction and creative nonfiction and teaches in other genres such as screenwriting and writing for video games. French Dive is Freeze’s second book of creative nonfiction.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Slant (Nov. 23 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 284 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1725266148
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1725266148

 -- Website

Bill Arnott is the bestselling author of A Season on Vancouver Island, theGone Viking travelogues, andA Perfect Day for a Walk: The History, Cultures, and Communities of Vancouver, on Foot(Arsenal Pulp Press, Fall 2024). Recipient of a Fellowship at London’s Royal Geographical Society for his expeditions, Bill’s a frequent presenter and contributor to magazines, universities, podcasts, TV and radio. When not trekking with a small pack and journal, Bill can be found on Canada’s west coast, where he lives near the sea on Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh land.