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Mary Moody: The Gardening Author Who Found Love and Adventure in France

Mary Moody: The Gardening Author Who Found Love and Adventure in France

Mary Moody is an Australian author who trained as a journalist at The Australian Women’s Weekly and was a long time presenter on Gardening Australia. She has written more than forty gardening books and five memoirs, including Au Revoir (2001), Last Tango in Toulouse (2003), The Long Hot Summer (2005), Sweet Surrender (2010) and The Accidental Tour Guide (2019).

In her memoirs, Moody shares her experiences of running away from home at fifty, leaving behind her husband, children and grandchildren, to live in a small village in France for six months. There, she falls in love with a local man, Jean-Marc, and embarks on a passionate affair that challenges her sense of identity and loyalty. She also explores the culture, cuisine and history of the region, and discovers new aspects of herself along the way.

Moody’s memoirs are honest, humorous and heartfelt, as she reveals her struggles with guilt, grief, ageing and desire. She also celebrates the joys of friendship, family and gardening, and the beauty of nature. Her books are an inspiration for anyone who dreams of escaping their routine and finding adventure in a foreign land.

Moody’s love for France also inspired her to lead cultural, botanical and gourmet walking tours in the country, especially along the Way of St James, a famous pilgrimage route that passes through her village. She shares her insights and stories with her fellow travellers, as well as introducing them to local delicacies such as truffles, foie gras, cheese and wine.

Moody’s French house has also been featured in several magazines and television shows, including Australian Story and Better Homes and Gardens. She describes it as her “sanctuary” and a place where she can reconnect with nature and herself. She spends several months a year there, gardening, writing and hosting friends and family.

Moody’s books have been translated into several languages and have sold over half a million copies worldwide. She is regarded as one of Australia’s most popular and engaging authors, who writes with warmth, humour and honesty about her extraordinary life.

Moody’s latest book, The Accidental Tour Guide (2019), is a memoir that chronicles her journey of grief and healing after the death of her husband David in 2014. She writes candidly about the shock and sorrow of losing her partner of 40 years, and how she found solace and strength in travelling to places that had meaning for them, such as Nepal, Morocco and Mongolia. She also reflects on her childhood, her career, her family and her friendships, and how they have shaped her into the person she is today.

The Accidental Tour Guide is a moving and inspiring book that celebrates the power of love, travel and nature to transform our lives. It is also a tribute to David Hannay, a renowned film producer who worked on more than 50 films and documentaries, including Stone, The Man from Snowy River and Crocodile Dundee. Moody shares some of the stories and memories of their life together, as well as the challenges and joys of being married to a creative and adventurous man.

Moody’s book has received rave reviews from critics and readers alike, who praised her honesty, courage and humour. It has also been shortlisted for the Australian Book Industry Awards 2020 in the Biography Book of the Year category. Moody hopes that her book will help others who are going through difficult times, and encourage them to embrace life with curiosity and gratitude.

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