Paris in Love

France 280“…I was walking with them all the way up to Montmartre, the highest point in the city.  I staggered up the last steps to find the Sacre-Coeur basilica’s dome gleaming in the sunlight, covered by rows of creamy scallops that reminded me of children’s drawings of ocean waves: very regular, quite fantastic.”  from A Parisian Spring chapter

Paris in LoveParis in Love by Eloisa James. Finished 7-5-13, rating 3.5/5, travel memoir, 258 pages, pub. 2012

Eloisa James is a professor of Shakespeare, a romance author, a wife, a mother, and a cancer survivor.  Weeks after her mother died of cancer, James found out that she too had breast cancer.  Calling it the ‘good kind’ her prognosis was always good and she never had that profound moment of divine clarity on life’s meaning, but she did feel the need for a change, a new experience.  She convinced her husband, also a professor, to take a year sabbatical so they could move to Paris for a year.  So, with kids in tow, off they went with varying degrees of excitement.

Let me say from the start that the idea of this sounds so incredibly tempting.  I’m not sure how I feel about uprooting the kids for a year, but I applaud her bravery in giving them a year they won’t forget.

This book started as her Facebook posts.  She organized and revised and put them into a lovely travel journal.  I most appreciated the longer essays as I thought they were more thoughtful and thought provoking than just the quick take posts.  I wish the book had been mainly essays with the short posts sprinkled throughout.

She touches on everything – the food, the clothes, the diet, the idea that French women don’t get fat, the schools, the housing, being an English speaking American in France.  I especially enjoyed her stories about her daughter’s school ordeals.  Being a pre-teen girl is no easy thing and doing it in a new country only adds to the hilarity (funny only at a distance. I’m sure).

I liked it.  I won this over at Amused by Books and I want to thank Leah for sending it my way.  Perfect for July in Paris 🙂

9 thoughts on “Paris in Love

  1. BermudaOnion says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, maybe because we’d done that for two years. Of course, James had a lot more money than we did and the world was more connected when she went, but I could still relate to much of it. I loved that she didn’t paint it all as being perfect.

  2. Mystica says:

    I’ve always admired people who’ve upped and gone somewhere totally different whether for a year or for a lifetime. It started with Under the Tuscan Sun and has continued throughout.

  3. Word Lily says:

    My husband is completely infatuated with the idea of taking a year of “retirement” way before retirement age and traveling with the fam. Only a theoretical that’d be nice at this point for us, though.

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