Carol N. (San Jose, CA)
A Quick Read
After a bout with cancer, romance novelist Eloisa James takes a sabbatical and moves her family to Paris to enjoy a year of nothing but experiencing life in the City of Lights. While there she “Tweets” and updates her “Facebook” followers with the quirks and joys of Paris living ... this book is a collection of those posts. Most of her posts are no more than a few sentences long, consisting of witty, observant updates on food, shopping, her kids, her Italian husband and a plump little dog. However for me, these loosely connected paragraphs, no matter how well written, are not the kind of material I want to experience when I sit down with a book. Perhaps her well-polished posts would make great reading for times when only a few minutes are available such as waiting for an doctor’s appointment, getting your hair done, or experiencing the commute travel to the city.
Janet P. (Houston, TX)
If we could all live in Eloise James' "moment," what a smorgasbord of delightful memories we would have with us to take us to the grave. James has it all: a wonderful and tolerant husband, two bright, articulate children, a pocketbook that allows fine dining, the best shopping, time for museums and the fine arts, and a year in the most romantic city in the world, Paris. Her brief vignettes, are often so touching, that this reader felt as if she had experienced these moments herself. James is a master travel guide, chef, writer, mother and wife. There is much to learn from her memoir and much to enjoy.
Mary A. (Fernandina Beach, FL)
Paris in Love
I loved this memoir. Elisa James moved to Paris for a year following a cancer diagnosis.Her memoir allows the reader to share the tastes,sounds,and insights that occur during that year.
The structure of the book-similar to Facebook posts-was deliberate on the author's part. She felt it best captured "...the small explosions of experience (that) best give the flavor of my days." That format creates an easy reading experience as well.
The author's wry observations about family life weave a delightful thread of humor throughout the book,particularly regarding her daughter Anna's antics.
Life in Paris seen through the remarkable lens of James is a satisfying journey for the reader. James writes about topics as diverse as the homeless,school,food,art,her favorite Parisian bridge-and somehow elevates the ordinary into something special.
I am so glad I had the opportunity to read this book.I loved it and would recommend it.
Kristen H. (Baltimore, MD)
Paris in Love
The best part of this book for me was that it made me nostalgic for Paris, where I lived for a year following college. I loved reading about the places and customs and traditions and idiosyncrasies that we're such a joy to experience, when I was there. But beyond the personal memories, I enjoyed the book. The intimate nature of the writing makes the reader feel like they are part of the family - and in some ways the story could be a year in the life of the family in any city in the world. I liked the book, but I wished that it had been deliberately written as a memoir of her life in Paris, rather than a collection of extremely short missives. I would have preferred the story with slightly more real narrative. I don't think I will read it again, and I am not sure that it was memorable enough for me to recommend to anyone else.
Helen M. (Petaluma, CA)
I was so looking forward to a memoir about a year in Paris but this book fell short for me. I found the method of very short posts that Eloisa wrote in distracting and more often left me wanting for more. Sometimes it was appropriate but more often it felt disjointed. On the positive side, there were bright and beautiful insights to the people, the places and the food. I always just wanted more. Or perhaps, the thread that connected the whole work was what was absent. Absolutely delightful insights into parenting and a light sense of humor did keep the pages turning. People who love Paris, or just love to travel will enjoy the read if they can stick with the format.
Marion W. (Issaquah, WA)
Paris, je t'aime!
Imagine that you are visiting an old friend, who's spending a year in Paris with her husband and two kids. She's a professor of English on sabbatical, and also an author of (among other books) Regency romance novels. You accompany her as she walks around: visiting small museums, shopping for groceries and trying new recipes, and noticing the Parisiennes' flair and attention to detail. Her joie de vivre, enhanced by her having survived breast cancer, is contagious. But she's also down-to-earth and wryly funny as she copes with her kids' struggles at school; diets by getting her husband to eat half her restaurant meals (my technique too!); and struggles with her "appalling French." This book is partially a collection of vignettes, just what you would cherish after chatting with a warm and astute friend. It's guaranteed to delight, and to set you dreaming about going to Paris. Five stars!
Donna W. (Wauwatosa, WI)
Paris in Love
I really liked this book. For the most part it is written with short entries much like a diary. Eloisa James has a charming and witty style, and the book is put together in such a way that it gives a delightful look at not only Paris, but also the author's family. It is spot on funny in many places, and tenderly touching in others. It makes me want to go to Paris, and sit down in a cafe to soak up the atmosphere! If you like memoirs, you will love this book!