How it's really done

the Dordogne

Renovating a stone house in the Dordogne, as Merle Bennett does in Blackbird Fly, comes with its challenges. Pigeons, rot, and family secrets, good and bad.

Merle gets her house livable in a summer. But a real renovation of an ancient house in a small village in France would take much longer. Just finding a tradesman to patch the roof, smoke-bomb the pigeons, run the plumbing, install electricity, etc etc, would take months. Then the work would begin, slowly and painstaking.

The New York Times recently profiled a real renovation in a Dordogne village, by owners who are pros: an architect, a lawyer, and a buildings archeologist. No Pascal in the attic with the smoke bombs, no stinky pissoir here. A long line of heirs to sift through however, plus years of planning and some $400,000 in repairs and renovations. I could move right in… you? Bennett Sisters covers

Have you been to the Dordogne with the Bennett Sisters yet? No tool-belt required!

1- Blackbird Fly

2-The Girl in the Empty Dress

3-Give Him the Ooh-la-la, the novella — new!

Hat tip to Amy Colbert Hourihan – thanks, Amy! Send me more tips about the Dordogne, France, and anything else to lisemcc at

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