A Paris Year by Janice Macleod

Categories:Book Reviews

If you fell in love with Janice Macleod and her heartwarming memoir Paris Letters, as I did, you will fall even more in love after reading her latest memoir A Paris Year.  Paris Letters and A Paris Year were inspired by Macleod’s real life experience where after years of dissatisfaction working in junk mail advertising and living an uninspiring life as a single woman.  Janice Macleod’s life completely transforms after conceiving an exit strategy that would finance her own sabbatical and escape abroad to Paris and travels throughout Europe.  Through her determination, courage and desire for a happier life Macleod’s life turns into one of dreams as she discovers herself and her artistic money earning talents in the city of Lights and consequently finds love on Rue Moufetard and marries charming Cristophe who resembles Daniel Craig.  If you’re a lover of  armchair travel, Paris, memoirs and guide books set in this magical city or someone who simply yearns to be whisked away to the streets of Paris again via a good read then A Paris Year will deliver you there.

Macleod’s new memoir details her “day to day adventures in the most romantic city in the world” where the author reveals a new and delightful places in Paris while throwing in cultural and historical facts on each calendar day of the year.  From the 1st of January all the way to the 31st of December Macleod exposes something new and perhaps unknown to the traveller or expat to Paris through words and her trademark beautiful water colour art. Through her combined talents of painting, photography and writing Janice reveals interesting facts about places in Paris that will certainly surprise the most avid lovers and enthusiasts of Paris.  As you flick through the pages of this delightful journal-like memoir, Macleod also uncovers hidden aspects of Paris season by magical season revealing the charm, mood and activity of Paris and Parisians through the coolness of autumn and winter to the warmth of spring and summer.

Discover the haunts of Hemingway and the Fitzgerald’s in Paris and places of historical significance while taking mental notes of the best flea markets and where to experience the most breathtaking roof top views of Paris.  Find out where to get the best baguette, pastry and cheese fix in town and where the quaintest or quirkiest cafes are to be found.  Macleod exposes neglected yet clever street artists like Nemo with his whimsical red balloons and umbrellas to Jef Aerosol with his red arrows and black and white graffiti stencil art that brings bare walls to life.  Read in wonder as Macleod reveals hidden gems and unravels the mysteries and little curiosities of Paris such as the significance of carriage green and Wallace Fountains to a secret underground river to Shakespeare and Company and the differences between Napolean B and Napolean III.  Discover the heart and soul of Parisians through their unique cultural habits and how they celebrate national holidays and their dedication to Patron saints.   Read about the best writer and artistic haunts in Paris some that deviate off the tourist trail and lead to famous cemeteries that host deceased artists of eras gone by.

A Paris Year is a perfect weekend read when all you want to do is stay curled up in bed with a cup of tea and reminisce about that wonderful trip you took to Paris a while ago.  Through captivating vingettes combined with historic, cultural facts and pretty water colours that bring the city of Paris to whimsical life Janice Macleod takes the reader on a sweet and memorable journey to the most romantic city in the world – a journey that you might hope will never end.

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