Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Living the Dream:: Almost French by Sarah Turnbull

My Summary::
Australian journalist Sarah is finishing up a year spent in Europe by traveling to Bucharest, Romania where she meets Frederic. He invites her to spend a week with him in Paris, but instead, she decides to spend the rest of her life with him. As Sarah takes a chance on love and adventure, but soon learns that life in Paris so different than her former life in Australia. Through her lovely and thoughtful memoir Sarah tells the story of being part of two countries and cultures.

My Review::
This books is really lovely. It is told in little vignettes of life in Paris, especially compared to life in Anglo-Saxon areas (specifically Australia). As a journalist stationed in Paris, Sarah lots of chances to experience lots of very "french" things for the sake of journalism- she goes to haute couture fashion shows, she dines at one of Paris's most celebrated restaurants, she takes her dog to a puppy salon. At the same time, she has many normal human disasters, homesickness, and faux pax. There are lots of details, often showing a side of France we normally don't get to see- the homeless and weird building regulations.

I wish the book had included more of her and Frederic's relationship. I guess I can understand that since it is non-fiction, she might not want to tell all- but I felt as if they went from strangers to a practically married couple so quickly. I really wanted the love story behind it- like the moments she fell in love with him or drama they experienced. I also thought the pacing was a little strange. I had expected it to read more like a story, but it would jump forward rather quickly from one spot to another, which made it more dream-like (which I suppose one could argue is how memoirs should be).

In all, I enjoyed the book. It really takes you to Paris. The book is over 10 years old now though, so I wonder how the city has progressed since then. It is a perfect book if you are traveling to France as a way of understanding the culture better, especially in comparison with your own.

Perfect if you loved:: A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
My Rating:: 19 out of 30

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