Book review: ‘The Green and the Red’ by Armand Chauvel, translated by Elizabeth Lyman

‘The Green and the Red’ front cover

She’s a vegetarian. He’s a carnivore. Will it be a table for one?

Meet Léa. She’s the idealistic owner and chef of La Dame Verte, a vegetarian restaurant struggling in a small French town in Brittany.

Meet Mathieu. He’s the carnivorous marketing director of the town’s biggest pork producer, which is trying to put Léa out of business to take over the restaurant’s prime real estate.

When Léa and Mathieu first cross paths, it is under false pretenses-Mathieu is posing as a vegetarian, infiltrating the local animal rights community for information that will force Léa’s restaurant toward a swifter demise. And while Léa suspects that Mathieu isn’t all that he appears to be, she has no idea how deep his culinary deception goes. Neither of them can deny the attraction they feel for each other, and it seems as though they might be setting a table for two … until Léa learns the truth.

Translated from the French, the novel is at once a romantic comedy and a comedy of errors – two people from different worlds coming together in a small French town immersed in the culture of food.

Meat Free Monday point of view

The Green and the Red highlights how stereotypes and cultural habits can influence our behaviour but how a little open mindedness – from flexitarians, vegetarians, vegans and omnivores alike – can produce positive change for people and planet.  Infused with comedy, facts and meat free flavours throughout, The Green and the Red is a great introduction to environmental, health and ethical issues surrounding our dietary choices – perfect for those considering giving Meat Free Monday a try!

The Green and the Red is available from Amazon as a Kindle edition or paperback.

About the author: Armand Chauvel is a French journalist and correspondent for Spain and Portugal. He studied journalism in Paris before taking work in Portugal and later in Spain. In September 2012, he founded the French-language blog Vegeshopper, which explores consumerism from a vegetarian/vegan perspective.

About the translator: Elisabeth Lyman is from the American Midwest, where she studied French, Arabic, Spanish, and linguistics. In 2009, Elisabeth moved to Paris, where she works as a translator.