Paris In Love: A Memoir by Eloisa James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
You've recovered from breast cancer and you feel that your life in the New Jersey 'burbs isn't quite what you want it to be - what do you do? If you're Eloisa James, you fulfill a dream of moving to Paris for a year. Luckily, she and her husband are both college professors and able to take concurrent sabbatical years. Unluckily, her two children are forced to come along, leaving their friends and their Quakeresque school to meet new people and attend an Italian-language school with a curriculum that doesn't match what they're used to.
Of course Luca and Anna survive this move, but Eloisa's series of short vignettes and memories of their year shows what a struggle is is. She also details the various shopping and eating experiences, museums visited, homeless men befriended and the adventures of Milo, their incredibly obese chihuahua (who lives with her Italian mother-in-law). Her husband Alessandro's adventures with his language exchange (Italian conversation in exchange for French) and on the board of the children's school also come into play.
Having been uprooted and brought to a foreign country when I was too young to seriously protest thanks to my father's sabbatical year, I understood what the children must have gone through. Sadly, that year sounds less fun than this one (on the other hand, it was Geneva in the 1970s vs Paris in the 2010s, which might have also contributed to the difference).
The tone is light and humorous; if you want to go to Paris, you'd do well to take note of the museums and restaurants mentioned.
ARC provided by publisher.