Categories:Book Reviews

‘PARIS IN LOVE’ by Eloisa James

Eloisa James a New York Times bestselling author and Shakespeare professor has given the Francophile audience a gift with her memoir that will warm the heart and delight the soul. Her memoir chronicles her enviable year in beautiful Paris and skilfully yet uncomplicatedly draws the reader into her world with delightful and vivid descriptions of places been and seen that are like verbal photographs of the city.
Like many of us, James for the longest time nurtured the dream of experiencing Paris and enjoying the joie de vivre of living like a local. A health scare and new perspective on life forced her to grab the bull by its horns turning her dream into a reality after sitting on the backburner for years. In 2009, James took a sabbatical and brave leap, uprooting her family and selling her home to fund one glorious year in Paris. As you journey through the pages of journal-like vignettes, highlighting everything from chocolates to haute couture, you at once bond with the city of Paris, its culture and the author – instantly connecting to her as a friend, travel companion and feeling like a welcomed guest in her home.
Having said au revoir to her commitments, deadlines and lectures back home, James rediscovers and embraces the simple pleasures of life and rejoices in them. As she navigates through everyday life in Paris, the real, comical and sartorial world of French people, mode de vie and culture open up to her making for some humorous observations and interesting reading. Her charming Italian husband Alessandro, over opinionated mother in law Marina and hilarious two children Luca and Anna offer the reader a further window or perspective of life in Paris as they live through their triumphs and overcome hurdles while coping with the complexities of the French language and culture. The children’s cultural dilemmas and the family’s over-weight Chihuahua Milo contribute to some of those laughable moments in the memoir of every day family realities.
Unlike other memoirs of this genre and there are quite a few and then some, James’ heartfelt and easy going prose envelopes the reader in a Paris whirlwind affair. As a consequence, the reader can taste the food, smell the aroma of freshly baked bread, feel the intensity of a Parisian woman’s red lipstick and click clack of high heels against the cobblestones, savour the flavoursome cheese and wine and the cool breeze and rain of an autumns day. A beautiful story of a year in a life of a courageous woman and her charming family with Paris as the backdrop. A memoir that reminds us all to make the most of the time we have on earth and to not take a single day for granted but to live our dreams and inspire others to do the same.

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