Introducing The France House

Bienvenue! Welcome to The France House.

Introducing The France House
Dinan's port in the evening (Photo by Pedro Lastra / Unsplash)

By Megan Harlan

Bienvenue! Welcome to The France House, my newsletter about making a second home and a (more) creative life. I'm an essayist, poet, and memoir author who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area—and, as of recently, in France. In June 2021, my partner and I first visited the house we'd bought in Brittany during the pandemic—without stepping foot in it.

As pretty deliberate and financially conservative people, it's by far the wildest purchase we've ever made. We'd finalized our written offer on the house in September 2020—the flat-lining heart of the Covid lock-down, and the same month my book, Mobile Home, a memoir in essays about growing up in 17 homes and across four continents, was published. As anyone who's read it knows: I have a complicated relationship with home. But I've long suspected that a permanent "second location" in a country I adore and could easily spend the rest of my life exploring would open up a way to live that feels natural to me, and offer so many opportunities for my son and my family. For this and many other reasons, instead of upgrading our California house's kitchen (we still use its original 1930s Wedgewood stove, practically a museum piece), we bought a historical house in Brittany.

The France House explores what it's like to live in two homes, cultures, and countries. Its subjects include French life and travel, inspiration and the arts, writing and other creativities, architecture and interior design, history and how its cultural imprints live on today, what builds and sustains a good "quality of life," and choosing the unexpected path.

If you'd like to start at the beginning, here are the first five pieces: Dream House, Search, Heart of Town, The Castle Anecdote, and No Renovations.

And if you subscribe, you can access all pieces free-of-charge and will receive new posts in your inbox.

Thank you for visiting! À bientôt! Megan xx