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Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris (2002)

by Sarah Turnbull

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,3514210,252 (3.51)57
After backpacking her way around Europe journalist Sarah Turnbull is ready to embark on one last adventure before heading home to Sydney. A chance meeting with a charming Frenchman in Bucharest changes her travel plans forever. Acting on impulse, she agrees to visit Fredric in Paris for a week. Put a very French Frenchman together with a strong-willed Australian girl and the result is some spectacular--and often hilarious--cultural clashes. Language is a minefield of misunderstanding and the simple act of buying a baguette is fraught with social danger. But as she navigates the highs and lows of this strange new world, from the sophisticated cafes and haute couture fashion houses to the picture postcard French countryside, little by little Sarah falls under its spell: passionate, mysterious, infuriating, and charged with that French specialty--seduction. And it becomes her home. "An engaging, endearing view of the people and places of France." --Publishers Weekly… (more)
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» See also 57 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
This explained so much of my experience in France. Just what I needed, just the right time! Now I will go and imagine that I'm a chair... :)

Edit: I just read what some other people thought of the book and I was surprised that so many people disliked it. I get if you don't like the writing style, but the other major criticism seemed to be that we don't see the love story between Sarah & Frédéric. I guess it was advertised that way. For me, it wasn't about their love story but the relationship between Sarah and France. And yes, I've had so many similar experiences! And I love the way, even though frustrating at times, she does adjust to France and makes it her home. Also, I felt that the whole living between two countries came across really well. And the way she's not French, but she's not really Australian anymore either. ( )
  RankkaApina | Feb 22, 2021 |
Vary enjoyable autobiography of Sarah Turnbull who went to live in Paris with Parisian Frederick after a brief encounter, and the ongoing difficulties she (and he) encountered coming to grips with differences between Australian and French (Parisian) attitudes to life. ( )
  nadineeg | Dec 31, 2018 |
I really enjoyed this -- it lived up to its description. The one episode I remember in particular was when she was heading out for a quick trip to the bakery to pick up a baguette wearing sweats, and her husband commented on it. When she told him it was just to run out to the bakery he said, "But it's not very nice for the baker." Cute story, but what an interesting perspective. We tend to think of looking nice as typically being an expression of vanity, but for Parisians it's in consideration for all the people who have to share a space with you. And when you think about how deflating it is, in a way, to be out amongst a bunch of people dressed like slobs (think Walmart), you wonder why more cultures don't take this attitude. ( )
  Lit_Cat | Dec 9, 2017 |
Loved it! ( )
  Melissa1980 | May 5, 2017 |
Almost French Sarah Turnball
★★★ and a half

I don't normally read non fiction but this book was recommended to me by 2 people and I am glad I gave it a go.

Sarah Turnball is a young Australian journalist who while taking a sabbatical and travelling Europe meets and falls in love with Frenchman Frederik

With barely a look book Sarah leaves her home in Sydney behind her and moves to Paris.

The biography covers how the couple cope with cultural as well as language barriers, how Sarah's friendly outgoing personality conflicts with the cool Parisians who constitute Frederik's friends.

The funniest instance for me was when the couple visit Sarah's family in Australia and Frederik finally understands how Sarah feels as an outsider due to the "spider" incident which did make me giggle and which I had to share with hubby immediately.

I would recommend this to those who like light humoured autobiographies and those with an interest in foreign cultures.
( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sarah Turnbullprimary authorall editionscalculated
Causby, DarianCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Et, bien sur, pour Fred
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I left Australia hoping to cram a lifetime of adventures into one unforgettable year.
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After backpacking her way around Europe journalist Sarah Turnbull is ready to embark on one last adventure before heading home to Sydney. A chance meeting with a charming Frenchman in Bucharest changes her travel plans forever. Acting on impulse, she agrees to visit Fredric in Paris for a week. Put a very French Frenchman together with a strong-willed Australian girl and the result is some spectacular--and often hilarious--cultural clashes. Language is a minefield of misunderstanding and the simple act of buying a baguette is fraught with social danger. But as she navigates the highs and lows of this strange new world, from the sophisticated cafes and haute couture fashion houses to the picture postcard French countryside, little by little Sarah falls under its spell: passionate, mysterious, infuriating, and charged with that French specialty--seduction. And it becomes her home. "An engaging, endearing view of the people and places of France." --Publishers Weekly

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Sarah Turnbull's stint in Paris was only supposed to last a week. Chance had brought Sarah and Frederic together in Bucharest, and on impulse she decided to take him up on his offer to visit him in the world's most romantic city. Sacrificing Vegemite for vichyssoise, the feisty journalist does her best to fit in, although her conversation, her laught, and even her wardrobe advertise her foreigner status. As she navigates the highs and lows of this strange new world, from life in a bustling quartier and surviving Parisian dinner parties to covering the haute couture fashion shows and discovering the hard way the paradoxes of French culture, little by little Sarah falls under its spell: maddening, mysterious, and charged with that French specialty - seduction. An entertaining tale of being a fish ot of water, Almost French is a delightful, fresh twist onthe travel memoir that is fraught with culture clashes but rife with deadpan humor. (1-592-40082-5)
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