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Saturday, September 1, 2012


This is a book that came highly recommended during the Paris in July read-a-long. I would have liked to have entered such a group of bloggers but I knew that my access to reading books on Paris would be nearly zero. I picked this one up now and wasn't it a winner.

Something that lots of us would maybe like to do. Take a year off from whatever we are doing - in this case a Shakespeare professor - take the family and go live in Paris for one year. It is a book that drags you in and won't let you get out. An original take on one woman's insight into living in Paris with an Italian husband, two children of eleven and fifteen who are trying desperately to cope with a new language and a new set of friends and her own foray into the world of French women, French food and the French way of life.
It also brings us glimpses of immigrants, the homeless of Paris, museums and churches galore and I loved the list of fairly unknown museums at the end which was a personal recommendation of the author.

The author decided to go to Paris to live after hearing herself diagnosed with breast cancer and just two weeks after her mother died of the disease. The book signifies her triumph in spirit and the way she embraces life with all its differences, determined to enjoy life and at the same time makes sure that her children also experience life in another dimension. The story of Luca and Anna is uplifting - in a strange environment learning Latin and French and making new friends is never easy but these two children manage very well and I loved how they adapted to their new environment. The support of Alessandro the author's husband was immense and she could not have done this without him. The flashbacks to James's Minnesota background was a nice contrast to their present way of living and highlighted the differences.

Told in snippets and each one varying greatly from the previous one - you could be reading ten lines on a fabulous museum, then going on to French women and their sartorial touches and then moving on to an episode of Anna and her erstwhile enemy now turned best friend Domitilla and then moving on to a mouthwatering menu.

An enchanting read.


Harvee Lau said...

I have Paris, My Sweet on my shelves to read. There have been several books set in Paris recently, mostly romances, and yours is one I'd like to add to my reading list.Glad you liked it.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

This was one of the more enjoyable memoirs I've read. So glad you liked it too!

Blodeuedd said...

I have read her fiction books so this would be nice too

Sam (Tiny Library) said...

I'm glad to see you enjoyed this as up until now I wasn't sure if this was a book for me but now I think I'll love it!

Paris, My Sweet is a really fun read too.

Marie said...

this sounds like such a fun book. i love paris and though i haven't been there in years and years it stays with me!

stacybuckeye said...

I have this audio checked out of the library right now. I love Paris and I am a new fan of the author.

Teddyree said...

I've seen this one around a bit, it's on my wishlist. I love Paris settings. Glad to see you enjoyed it :)

bermudaonion said...

I really liked this book, too, and appreciated the author's honesty.

The Brunette Librarian said...

I loved this one! Eloisa James is hilarious and I loved both this memoir and her romance books. Check out her historicals if you haven't, they are wonderful :)

Great review!

The Brunette Librarian's Blog

sakura said...

This sounds wonderful, Mystica. I must get my hands on a copy. I hope you are well!