Saturday, June 15, 2013

Book Review: Paris in Love

Paris in Love
Narrated By: Eloisa James
Published By: Random House Audio
Publication Date: April 2012
Audio Length: 6 hours, 38 minutes
Source: Library
Audience: Adult - Memoir

On the Story & Writing:

Eloisa James is a name most fans of  Regency romance will immediately recognize, but for someone like me who doesn't read that genre, I had no idea who she was or what to expect. Paris hasn't always been on my bucket list, but after reading this book and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins, the city has firmly grasped a spot on the coveted list. James brings Paris to life through snippets detailing the time she spent living in France with her husband and two children. As the book progresses, I grew to feel like Ms. James and I were old friends. I loved finding out how she would spend her day, what amazing things she'd see and what foods she'd nibble. This memoir brings the culture, culinary arts, and landscape of Paris to live in brilliant details.

The format of this memoir also appealed to me. It's not a straight up story. While it is told in chronological order, it's basically a series of smaller snippets that James has woven together with background information. I enjoyed learning more about her family history, her marriage, and her hilarious kids. Anna kept me in stitches and was by far one of my favorite parts of the memoir. I enjoyed that I got to spend a brief time with each of the days James lived in Paris. I also enjoyed learning more about her life as a writer.

I also think the focus on mortality and how we use our time is significant. The move to Paris is sparked by James' battle with cancer. She's able to overcome the disease which allows her to see that time isn't something that should be wasted. I love how she chose to live every moment to the fullest. I'm inspired to make the most of every day and to cherish all the moments along the way. Life is too short to be unhappy and stressed all the time. In some ways, reading this memoir was a freeing experience that helped me evaluate my own life.

This book also made me wonder if I would have the courage to pick up and move to another country for a year. While doing something like this would be scary on many levels, it would also be amazing to experience a new culture and have adventures I couldn't have here in the states. I've already moved 2700 miles away from home once; that experience is one I will always treasure. It opened my eyes to so many things. I can only imagine taking a year to live in Europe would be even more rewarding. Hmmmm, I wonder if I could convince my husband....

In all seriousness, this book was a great way to indulge myself in a mental trip to Paris. There is humor, love, and a fat chihuahua named Milo. What more could you want? I will be picking up a copy to add to my bookshelf as this is a memoir I would reread portions of in the future.

On the Audio:

Eloisa James narrates the story herself. I love when authors do this! I felt like it was especially fitting because of the genre. It was nice to hear James read her own story. I'd highly recommend the audio.


One Last Gripe: There were some portions I wish had been a bit longer. I'd settle into a story and then it was off to the next.

My Favorite Thing About This Book: I loved the humorous moments.

First Sentence: In December 2007, my mother died of cancer; two weeks later I was diagnosed with the same disease.



In 2009, New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James took a leap that many people dream about: she sold her house, took a sabbatical from her job as a Shakespeare professor, and moved her family to Paris.Paris in Love: A Memoir chronicles her joyful year in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
 
With no classes to teach, no committee meetings to attend, no lawn to mow or cars to park, Eloisa revels in the ordinary pleasures of life—discovering corner museums that tourists overlook, chronicling Frenchwomen’s sartorial triumphs, walking from one end of Paris to another. She copes with her Italian husband’s notions of quality time; her two hilarious children, ages eleven and fifteen, as they navigate schools—not to mention puberty—in a foreign language; and her mother-in-law Marina’s raised eyebrow in the kitchen (even as Marina overfeeds Milo, the family dog). 
 
Paris in Love invites the reader into the life of a most enchanting family, framed by la ville de l’amour.


5 comments:

  1. I liked the book, but reading all of the tweet/facebook like chapters got a little tedious. I think listening to the audiobook would be much better.

    Her daughter was hilarious!!!

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    Replies
    1. That might have annoyed me too, but I honestly didn't even know it was written in that format while listening. I only discovered that later when I was reading others' reviews. The audio ties everything together nicely.

      I agree - Anna was a riot.

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  2. I love Eloisa James regency books. I am happy to hear that you liked the book. I probably won't read it though because of the whole tweet/facebook like chapters. I am a fan of hers on Facebook already so I read enough of her stories on there.

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  3. Wow, that first line. This sounds like an amazing memoir.

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