Monday, September 24, 2012

Review: Paris In Love by Eloisa James

Paris In Love
Author: Eloisa James
Published: April 3, 2012
Genre: memoir, travelogue
Hardcover: 272 pages
Source: borrowed from the library

My Rating: 2.5 stars

Synopsis (from GoodReads): In 2009, New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James took a leap that many people dream about: she sold her house, took a sabbatical from her job as a Shakespeare professor, and moved her family to Paris. Paris in Love: A Memoir chronicles her joyful year in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
With no classes to teach, no committee meetings to attend, no lawn to mow or cars to park, Eloisa revels in the ordinary pleasures of life—discovering corner museums that tourists overlook, chronicling Frenchwomen’s sartorial triumphs, walking from one end of Paris to another. She copes with her Italian husband’s notions of quality time; her two hilarious children, ages eleven and fifteen, as they navigate schools—not to mention puberty—in a foreign language; and her mother-in-law Marina’s raised eyebrow in the kitchen (even as Marina overfeeds Milo, the family dog). 
Paris in Love invites the reader into the life of a most enchanting family, framed by la ville de l’amour.

My Thoughts: I enjoy a good travelogue and when I heard that this one was set in Paris, the one place on earth that I am dying to go, I just had to read this book. Eloisa James tells about her year in Paris, about how she made the decision to move her family across the ocean and start over. The book is broken up into chapters, with most chapters starting with a short essay followed by little blurbs (things that she had posted on Facebook). She uses this format throughout the entire book, which I thought was odd. There were the amusing little thoughts that she would write down, but I felt like huge chunks of the story were missing.

I always say that I cannot judge the basis of a memoir because it's not my life, and it's hard to judge. In this book, my one gripe was what James chose to put in her book. In blurb form, it's hard to build a cohesive story about what was happening to them. When she would talk about her children and their difficulties in school, I felt like she didn't tell us enough about how difficult it was for them to transition to a new school and city. I felt like there was so much that was missing from the book, which is what made me give it a lower rating.

I did enjoy her shopping adventures and those alone make the book worth reading. If you enjoy Paris and memoirs, then it might be worth it to check it out. It just wasn't everything that I hoped for.

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