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Monday, June 04, 2012

Paris in Love by Eloisa James

Paris in Love transported me back to that wonderful city! I went to incense-laden Masses, wandered the aisles of Galleries Lafayette, looked at chocolate shoes in shop windows, and saw the sights all over again.  This is a book which all lovers of Paris should read.

After romance writer and academic, Eloisa James, received treatment for cancer, she decided to move to Paris with her Italian husband and young family.  Here she wrote her observations and musings on Facebook and Twitter.  This charming book is based on these.

This lovely series of vignettes evokes the atmosphere of Paris.  James writes about many experiences, including a snowy Christmas and the children’s schooldays.  She writes about delicious food and Parisian fashion, of course, but this is not another ‘foodie and fashion’ travel book.  This is a different look at Paris – James sees it through the eyes of an American mother and her children’s eyes.

Her vignettes are often serious, for example, she tells the story of a homeless man.  However, they’re often very amusing as well.  James is surprised by couriers in her pyjamas and she knows that this sartorial disaster will soon reach the ears of all of the neighbours! Another amusing incident occurs when her little girl, Anna, gets upset because she thinks that her teacher is racist.  The teacher was criticising aliens in Star Wars!

The snippets are so enjoyable because James’s descriptions are so colourful and precise.  She paints pictures of Paris that can be visualised in an instant.  For example, she writes that an eighteenth-century candy shop is a “feast for the eyes” with its “delicate crystallized violets, pastel sugar eggs, and darling marzipan apples, sized for a doll’s tea party”.

If you love Paris or you’ve always longed to see Paris, rush out and buy a copy of this delightful book!

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