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Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris by Sarah Turnbull

Paris, whirlwind romance, cafes, and the everyday life of Parisiennes. It couldn't get any nicer than this. Then again, I must admit there are other far nicer books. That or I must have gotten tired of all these cliched memoirs of living in France (but that doesn't stop me from collecting books like this!). At some point, they would all sound a bit the same for me by now however Turnbull does still offer more it seems.

This is but another interesting glimpse about the little traits and subtle differences of being an Australian (or being a foreigner) in Paris and of the little French eccentricities; like how exclusive they are in parties, how the women friendships go, Parisienne fashion, how they view cover letters (this was interesting!) and decorative dogs among other things.

Of late though, I just cannot shake off that growing disquiet for certain tones in memoirs. Well, writing in first person has its own undoing, I guess, and this book is no exception. The fact that the more delightful parts of the book isn't about her but her observation of the French sort of speaks a lot. Readers who love that genre (foreigner-moving-to-Paris-for-love-or-for-a-new-life) would still enjoy this on their lull reading time.

Book Summary:
"This isn't like me. I'm not the sort of girl who crosses continents to meet up with a man she hardly knows. Paris hadn't even been part of my travel plan..."

The charming true story of a spirited young woman who finds adventure and the love of her life in Paris. A delightful, fresh twist on the travel memoir, Almost French takes us on a tour that is fraught with culture clashes but rife with deadpan humor. 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 Sydney journalist does her best to fit in, although her conversation, her laugh, and even her wardrobe advertise her foreigner status. But as she navigates the highs and lows of this strange new world, from life in a bustling quatier and surviving Parisian dinner parties to covering the haute couture fashion shows and discovering the hard way the paradoxes of France today, little by little Sarah falls under its spell: maddening, mysterious, and charged with that French specialty - seduction.

Book Title: Almost French
Author: Sarah Turnbull
Genre: Travel, Memoir, Romance, Cultural 
Published: 2004 Paperback 
Publisher: Gotham
Rating: ♨♨ (3 cups - I have had my share of reading a string of travel memoirs about France so this one, the only added flavor for me would be the tone and a different kind love story. The rest felt the same. I would probably get it more if I'm an Australian. But otherwise, you still wouldn't help falling in love with Paris.)


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