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Paris in Love by Eloisa James

Paris in Love

by Eloisa James (Author)

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This memoir is based on the author’s time in Paris. She moves to the famous city from her home in New Jersey with her two children and Italian husband in tow. The family’s goal is to embrace a sweeter, slower life for a single year, savoring food and experiences.

The author, by her own admission, compiled her Facebook and Twitter posts about her time in Paris to create this “memoir.” The result is a completely disjointed book. There are funny bits and astute observations, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that the entire book is a series of non sequiturs with the loosest of threads holding it together. She’ll say something about her daughter’s difficult time adjusting to her new school and then the very next line is about a delicious meal she ate and then the next mentions their overweight chihuahua.

It was sweet to read about the wonderful meals she ate and museums she saw, but for me it wasn’t enough to justify a book. The format was too fragmented and I probably would have enjoyed it more if I’d read them on Facebook, in the original form they were intended.

BOTTOM LINE: There are too many great Parisian memoirs out there to make this one worthwhile. Read it only if you’re in the mood for a tiny taste of Paris and don’t care what form it comes in. ( )
  bookworm12 | Jun 27, 2014 |
It's a collection of Facebook posts. "Paris in little tiny disconnected fragments" would be a more accurate title, or "Paris in Facebook". ( )
  rakerman | Jan 29, 2014 |
I loved every single thing about Paris in Love by Eloisa James.

When Eloisa James's mother dies of cancer in 2007 and then two weeks she herself is diagnosed with the same cancer, she was sure she knew what would happen next:

"I immediately started anticipating the epiphany when I would be struck by the acute beauty of life. I would see joy in my children's eyes (rather than start rebellion), eschew caffeine, and simply be, preferably while doing yoga in front a sunset."

When all of that didn't happen, she decided that rather than living her life in the moment, she wanted to live someone else's life - the life of someone who lives in Paris.

Since she and her husband are both college professors, they were able to take a sabbatical and set off for Paris with their two children in tow. She is a writer, and had plans for writing 4 books, while in Paris…none of them being a book about her actually being in Paris. So, this book is actually written from small updates, almost journal entries, some even just Facebook status posts. Which makes it wonderfully entertaining and a quick read. It is a life in Paris given to us in humorous bite-size glimpses. ( )
  Hanneri | Nov 17, 2013 |
My latest armchair traveler read, Paris in Love, will take you through snippets of Eloise James's (pen name of historical romance novelist and professor Mary Bly) year-long sabbatical in Paris with her family. Originally her Facebook and Twitter posts, she weaves together the daily happenings and Parisian experiences with her musings on life, family, and her journey after breast cancer. A bit slow and disjointed at times, this allows you to step back and be a part of her life during her year of self-reflection and change. An enjoyable read. ( )
  GovMarley | Sep 22, 2013 |
I had such a fun time reading this book that I wished it went on forever…

I have no idea Eloisa James was a famous writer before I read the book. Evidently she is a wildly famous historical romance author and an English professor in a University. However, I’m glad that I didn’t know her before I read the book, since I felt like reading the journal entries of a dear friend or the advice giving by another Mother friend with children of the same age. There is no way I could have the same experience if I had known how popular she was.

After recovering from breast cancer, Eloisa took a year off from teaching and her American life, sold her house and car, and moved to Paris for a year. She moved there with her Italian husband, who is also a professor, her teen son and her 10-year old daughter. This book is a collection from her blog and Facebook posts that she had written during that journey. What made this book so fun to read was Eloisa’s wit and humor, and her ability to make every minor detail of her Parisian life interesting.

Here’s one of her passage about skinny Paris women:

“I have discovered at least one secret of thin French women. We were in a restaurant last night, with a chic family seated at the next table. The bread arrived, and a skinny adolescent girl reached for it. Without missing a beat, maman picked up the basket and stowed it on the bookshelf next to the table. I ate more of my bread in sympathy.”

A regular street scene in Paris:

“Archetypal French scene: two boys playing in the street with baguettes were pretending not that they were swords, as I first assumed, but giant penises.”

She also wrote about museums, shops, churches, schools, statues, bridges, parks, French women and men, fashion, people, sights, wonderful Parisian food as well as not-to-miss paintings and pastries. Since I’ve been to Paris before and her detailed and accurate descriptions made me miss the city terribly. Her comparisons of French and American parenting were interesting to read, and quite similar to what Pamela Druckerman wrote about in Bringing up Bebe, another book about France. Her facts about Paris were reliable and accurate; her observations of subtle differences were fun to ponder over. Reading it was like experiencing everything Parisian first hand. Overall, I think it’s a book worth reading, for both people who had been to Paris or not, although it’s kind of short due to the format.
( )
  lovestampmom | Aug 8, 2013 |
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James chronicles her joyful year in one of the most beautiful cities in the world--Paris--all the while inviting her reader into the life of her most enchanting family.

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