Paris, My Sweet

Categories:Book Reviews

‘Paris, My Sweet’, by Amy Thomas.

It’s not often when a narrative combines all the things a woman dreams of and packages it into one decadently sweet box with a satin pink ribbon on top. Amy Thomas has managed to do just that in her memoir ‘Paris, My Sweet’ which, like a multi layered cake, offers a spoonful of delight with every bite. Part confectionary guide and part love affair with Paris, Thomas unveils Parisian life through the eyes of an expat revealing the many layers and sweet stops of this wonderful, intricate and diverse city. Expat life can only be made sweeter when living in a city where there are countless patisseries, chocolate stores and tea salons to explore.
A young woman based in New York and a Francophile by heart, is offered a dream opportunity to live and work as an ad copy writer for the iconic fashion label Louis Vuitton in Paris. In no time at all Amy Thomas is riding a velibe around Paris exploring the sweet scene and writing about it in her spare time after work hours. As she meanders her way through the rues of Paris in search of the next best sweet stop, Thomas ensures we get a taste of the best Paris has to offer like at the historic Stroher home to the Rhum Baba and éclair or chocolate gateaux avec un chocolate chaud at the prestigious Angelina’s. Her descriptions of breads, chocolates, viennoiseries and endless variations of gateaux leaves you dreaming not only of a slice or two of cake but wondering how soon you can book that next trip to Paris.
In those difficult expat moments when cultural challenges begin to take their toll, Thomas finds herself reminiscing of life and loved ones in New York and of course the desserts. When returning to the Big Apple for a revisit, Thomas’ Paris sweet guide temporarily switches to New York sweet guide and readers are given a glimpse into the delicious world of the chocolate chip cookies, brownies and crumbles and of course where to find them. Her growing identity and love of Paris and its food culture brings her to the realisation that “New York has nothing on Paris when it comes to chocolatiers” and that “in Paris, you can toss a truffle in any direction and hit a world-class chocolatier”.
Living as an expat enriches and challenges Amy’s perspective of life forcing her to examine herself and the merits and negative aspects of both cities. When the novelty and warmer months of living in Paris melt away to reveal the realities of living in a city Thomas finds solace and motivation in the things that drew her to Paris in the first place and of course the hunt for more sweets intensifies.
‘Paris, My Sweet’ unveils not only the city’s well known and hidden delights but of the realities of living rather than vacationing in a city. Thomas tantalises the appetite and seduces the mind in her sweet adventures through the rues and suburbs of Paris. Discover where to have that sublime hot chocolate chaud, chocolate eclairs with dreamy custard, tarts, madeleine’s, croissants, buttery brioches and the best confectionary in town. A memoir that will awaken the desire to travel and explore France for oneself and to eat one’s way through Amy Thomas’ Paris sweet guide.

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