Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Review: Paris in Love by Eloisa James

Romance author Eloisa James needed a change.  Her job as a college professor meant that she could take a year sabbatical-not teach and work on writing.  So Eloisa decided to move her family to Paris for a year.  Paris in Love chronicals that year and all the hilarious and often touching things that happened in her daily life.

When I first started reading Paris in Love I wasn't sure what to think.  The format of the book is very different.  Essentially, Eloisa built the book off of short entries that she would write about certain parts of her day.  So the book is very choppy.  There will be a small paragraph or even just a sentence about something that she noticed, or something that she did.  There were also some longer sections where she wrote about family gathers, trips, etc.  I thought the book would be a pain to read because of the format, however it ending up being a ton of fun!  Eloisa writes a lot about little everyday things that she notices while out and about in Paris, and it's those beautiful descriptions of the city, its people, and its food that really makes the book.  Because of the book's format, I felt like I was there too, experiencing each day with Eloisa and her family.  She captured Paris perfectly and made me want to go back even more.

The book is sweet and simple, but that doesn't mean there aren't some heavy topics in it.  Eloisa writes a lot about her mother, who she had recently lost to cancer, and also about her own battle with cancer and how it affected her life. 

I loved the bits about her family too because it makes you feel like you're a part of them.  Her children are hilarious and have such distinct personalities, as does her husband.  You can tell by the way she writes about them all that Eloisa really adores her family.  Her mother in law's dog Milo, the obese chihuahua was my favorite family member though ;)  The poor thing!

I definitely recommend this book as a summer read.  If you want something that is light and fun and nonfiction and takes place in Paris and has really great descriptions of the city, the stores, the markets, etc, you will love this book.  (sorry for the runon sentence, by the way)

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

Page 23: "Today I went to my favorite flirtatious butcher and pointed to some sausages.  He coiled up 7 feet of them and put them on the scale, saying, 'The man who is married to you needs to eat lots of sausages.'  One problem with my French is that I require time to think before replying, so I ended up back out on the street with far too many sausages and spent the next hour unsuccessfully trying to come up with French ripostes that I will be able to use in my next life.  The one in which I am fluently multilingual, and never at a loss for words."

Page 40: "It's a cruel fate: to watch without recounting the fall of the leaf; to grieve without creating anew; to age without describing it."

Page 83: "Snow on the dark gray tiles opposite my study window looks like white fur clinging to the roof, as if the house were growing a protective coat against the freezing air."

Page 94: "When we moved into this apartment, I first noticed the windows because they are draped in shimmery peacock blue taffeta from the ceiling to the floor-very Parisian, I thought.  But over the months I've realized that having five-foot-tall windows through which to view the world changes everything.  Watching snow fall on the other side of large panes of glass makess it feel as if the snow falls in the room itself; a normal window brackets off the snow, as if it fell on a Hollywood set, far away."

Title: Paris in Love
Author: Eloisa James 
Date of Publication: April 3rd, 2012
Number of Pages: 272
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Source: Personal Copy


  1. Great review, Kelly! This sounds like the perfect book for me to read during "Paris in July". I've added my name to the library hold list... hope the wait isn't too long.

  2. YES! This one has been on my list for a little while now, and it would be perfect for this month. Perhaps if I finish Les Mis early? Strong motivation.

  3. Hi Kelly. I am a sucker for books about women who move to Paris - in Real Life. I just checked and my library has an e-book and a print version. I am on the list.

  4. Thanks for this recommendation! It looks awfully good; just my kind of thing. I wasn't familiar with it, so discovering it through your words is an extra treat! Thanks!