Cover art front cover w kirkkus for Steve

The award winning story of Elizabeth, who leaves behind a world of privilege to live off the grid, herding goats and sheep in the mountains of Southern France. A fun and powerful read  in which a young woman overcomes the self-doubt which accompanies obesity and becomes the strength her adopted family needs when tragedy strikes.

“You will weep…you will laugh.” Kirkus Reviews; Named A Kirkus Best Book

Contact EC Murray at and Twitter @urbangoatherd

Kirkus Badge                         

                             Barnes__Noble_1_t250           ib        az

“Energetic prose, blending poetic description…brings to vivid, eye-popping life the rural landscape. Rich with history, Murray’s literary and philosophical reflections give the memoir substance.” Publishers Weekly

“A rich, lucid debut memoir… Murray writes with grace, complexity and humor… a rare balance of light and will weep and you will laugh.” Kirkus Reviews

Cited as “New and Noteworthy” by Seattle Times

“Murray writes with humor and courage…as adventurous as “Eat, Pray Love”…with a little of Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild” thrown in. Yakima Herald

“Flecked with humor and bittersweet candor.” The Bellingham Herald

“this account captures the essence of coming of age.”  Kitsap Sun

“A riveting read. Murray engages the senses every step of the way.” Scott Driscoll, University of Washington, author of Better You Go Home

“Murray is both a sharp observer of the local color and a cartographer of her own internal geography, making A Long Way from Paris as richly textured as fromage de chèvre.” Langdon Cook, author of The Mushroom Hunters, winner of the 2014 Pacific Northwest Book Award and 2014 Washington State Book Award

“She beautifully explores her deep awareness of the land, an unfolding appreciation of hard work and the importance of family. The result is a fascinating journey filled with wisdom, grace and compassion.” Carlene Cross, author of The Undying West, Fleeing Fundamentalism

“EC Murray brings the reader to the haunting, godforsaken beauty of the French Pyrenees…living a life stripped down to the basics, her senses, intuition, and heart must take over. It is a thoughtful, heartwarming journey…that leads…to the core of life.” Beth Corcoran, Lévis-Lauzon College, Quebec

“Written with beauty, candor and wit.” Wendy Hinman, author of Tightwads on the Loose

“Totally engrossing and imbued with both humor and heartbreak.  Murray has infused the everyday with meaning and adventure.” Carol Wissmann, Freelance writer, editor, and speaker.

“The more she dug, unveiling more intimate, personal material, the more she felt compelled to write, rather than inspired.” Springfield Republican, MassLive

“Anyone who’s struck out on the road to find themselves (and those who’ve wanted to!) will surely see themselves in E.C. Murray’s lovely and nicely rendered A LONG WAY FROM PARIS.” Theo Pauline Nestor, author of WRITING IS MY DRINK.

“This is one of my favorite memoirs out of over 500 which I’ve read and taught. It is all about the simple beguiling power of internal growth. The story unfolds through the use of Elizabeth’s daily journal while she tended goats as a young American woman in southern France. Almost imperceptibly, we are drawn into her experiences, reflections, memories and challenges. We start to care about the people and animals for whom she cares: the Fontaine family, their neighbours, her Australian fellow goat-herder, the goats themselves. All come alive as “Ay-leez-a-bett-a” grows with and through their struggles. It’s an adventure story, a love tale, a travelogue. We breathe the air, we taste the wine, we see the mountains in the mists and we walk for free through beautiful rugged ancient Languedoc. Elizabeth Murray’s sincere and emotionally touching account of her time in southern France stirred my soul.” Dr. Maureen Slattery, Former Vice-Dean Faculty of Human Sciences at University of Ottawa and St. Paul University; Montreal, Canada

“EVERYWOMAN—and her daughter—should read this book, brimming with gentle insights and strength of spirit, as sometimes we, like the author, mistakenly believe ourselves bereft of both.” Carol Wissmann, Freelance writer, editor, and speaker.

 A Long Way from Paris is perfect for book clubs. Here’s a link to lit lovers, a great site for book clubs with info about books, authors, and book club questions:


  1. Loved your book. Review posted on Amazon as well as my site. Could not locate you on twitter to tag for link to review. Thanks for such a beautifully written story.


    1. Mary-Thank you so much. “Updating my Website” is on my “to do” list. I’m a novice at tweeting, but here you are: EC Murray@The Urban Goatherd. I appreciate your kind words and reviews. The book took forever to write so I’m glad it touched you. ECM


  2. your book was a tonic for me. i eagerly anticipated each nights’ read. i was transported to places i had not quite been before. your many years of hard work are so appreciated. thank you for your courage and talent. you and your book will always be a part of me. best regards, leslie kern


    1. Leslie-What a kind comment. Thank you so much. It’s funny – after all the rejections which came during all my revisions, what a wonderful reward it is hear from thoughtful people like yourself. Thank you!


  3. Hi Elizabeth just left a 5 star review on .uk. you are such a talented writer. Your book was recommended to me by a fellow member of a lovely facebook group called ‘we love memoirs. We have over 2000 worldwide members and yours is just the kind of book we love. It would be great if you could join us. Thanks for the great read. X


  4. Hi Elizabeth,
    I finally had a chance to sit down and read your travel memoir and thoroughly enjoyed it. I wrote a little piece about it on my blog. I hope we can meet again in the future.


  5. Hi Elizabeth. I recently read your book, one of the best this year, and I’ve left my five star review on It was uncanny how much common ground we share. I also wrote memoirs based on my diaries and set in France in 1979 and 1980. I’d love to discuss this with you privately. Please email me at the address below. Merci!


  6. Just last year my husband and I traveled through Languedoc – Roussillon from Paris en route to the village of Dorres in the Pyraneese Mountains to experience & enjoy the Roman Hot Springs. I had hitchhiked through Europe & North Africa for 3 years over 40 years ago and I wanted to create a memory for us… knowing that nothing could compare to being a free and easy young woman traveling in the early1970’s. I met my husband shortly after I moved to the states and settled in San Francisco. Your book brought so many feelings and memories back and I loved every page of your first book. You touched my heart and I am so impressed how you put these experiences into words to share. Thank you for a great read. We recently moved to Hawaii to be warm and start a new chapter in our lives.. I had shivers reading how cold you were living with Camilla and Jacques…and was so impressed with how hard you worked. Thank You.
    Namaste ‘. Marilyn Katzman


    1. Marilyn-Thank you so much for the kind note. Yes, it sounds like we had an array of similar experiences. I appreciate you taking time to write me about how much you enjoyed my book and the memories it brought back. I’m glad you understood the cold. Today, I surely appreciate my warm blankets and electric/gas heat. I hope you’re loving Hawaii. Fondly, Elizabeth


  7. Dear Elizabeth–how i loved your story and wished i was as brave as you to travel to France at such a young age!! My greatest travel was from MN to WA with 9 goats and 4 dogs this year. I read your entire book in one sitting-i cried for Marian, for Randy,for Garner and for Baby and the other goats that passed or became dinner.
    I love your description of the cheese making and how it aged and everything else.

    Thank you for wiring this book- I am ordering my very own copy as the one i read was from the library🙂

    Warm hugs from myself and my goaties

    Bridget in Yelm Wa


    1. Bridget-Thank you so much. I’m so glad you were touched by A Long Way from Paris. I hope you and your nine goats and four dogs love your new life in Yelm. Have a great 2016!


  8. Hello Elizabeth, I just finished reading your wonderful book and left a review on I also heard about your book on We Love Memoirs (like Linda and Jude). I am amazed at how brave you were to go off into the unknown and to settle in a rural French village without speaking French very well. Being an animal lover and having spent a wee bit of time in Nice, I very much enjoyed every bit of your book! Merci beaucoup for writing it!! Cathy Monaghan in Tucson, AZ.


    1. Cathy-I am so pleased A Long Way from Paris resonated with you. I so appreciate your kind and thoughtful note. With so many years behind me, I, too, am somewhat surprised how brave I was then, too. I love hearing from readers-especially animal lovers. Nice is so beautiful. I hope you had a lovely time! My best to you-Elizabeth


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s