When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

x
food / travel

British, Broke & Single In France: Desperate Expat Ex-Wives

A dispatch from the new front line of expat rural life from Maria-Louise Sawyer, who came to the Charente region with her husband in 2002, only to find herself alone and broke nine years later.

Sèvre Niortaise river in Niort, Deux-Sèvres, France
Sèvre Niortaise river in Niort, Deux-Sèvres, France
Catherine Rollot

CHARENTE - When she looks out of the window of her dining room, Maria-Louise Sawyer could almost think that she is still in the English countryside. Endless fields dotted with a few farms, horses, and a mild climate. When they moved to Charente in 2002 from the UK, she and her husband thought they had found their own little piece of paradise: a green and pleasant land just like back home, made perfect by that French quality of life coveted by all.

A few years later, the dream turned into a nightmare. At the age 54, this native from the Devon county in southwestern England suddenly found herself without a husband or money, living alone in the small village Chazelles some ten miles outside the main town of Angoulême. After 26 years of marriage, her husband had suddenly returned to England – taking all their savings with him.

Keep reading... Show less
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!

A man walks on a tank left behind by Russian troops, on display in Kyiv’s Mykhailivska Square.

Lila Paulou, Lisa Berdet and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Hej!*

Welcome to Tuesday, which marks three months since the war in Ukraine started. Meanwhile, BoJo is in trouble again, and millionaires at Davos ask to be taxed more. Persian-language, London-based media Kayhan explores what the future of Lebanon could look like after the election defeat of Iran-backed Hezbollah.

[*Swedish]

Keep reading... Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch Video Show less
MOST READ