I have read the 72nd book for the book challenge. It was Paris In Love A Memoir by Eloisa James.
Romance author Eloisa James has written a memoir about the year her family lived in Paris. Her husband taught for a year at an Italian language school in Paris and she worked on her books. Her children, Luca and Anna, attended an Italian school in Paris.
The book is a series of brief remembrances by James, some of which appeared as Facebook status listings during her sojourn in Paris. She comments on her many visits to various restaurants in Paris with her husband and with friends, both French and American friends who come to visit while she is living in Paris. We live vicariously through James’s visits to these marvelous restaurants as she describes their gastronomic delights. I particularly loved her descriptions of desserts, always my favorite part of dinner. James also likes to cook and includes her favorite recipes for risotto, the way she learned to make it during her college studies, and the French recipes she learned while in Paris. She bought some French bakeware, things that are difficult to buy in the States. She tells about shopping trips to the various department stores in Paris, as well as to the smaller boutique shops, for kitchen ware as well as for clothing.
Much of her book involves the drama surrounding her children and their school. Anna has trouble with a girl named Domitilla in her class. There is terrible animosity but eventually the two become friends. Anna has much trouble with the French language in school, but seems to pick it up with no trouble when she goes to an after school day camp. Luca has problems with math and he and his father pour over calculus problems. While Luca speaks very good Italian, he is having trouble reasoning in that language and so is not doing well in that class.
The family is also taken with several homeless people who live near their Métro stop. Several of them have dogs and Anna is concerned about the dogs. They bring the homeless people food and also bring food for the dogs. We learn about the custom of giving lilies of the valley to women on May 1st in France. James gives us tours of many different museums that they visit.
We also learn about their dog, a very obese chihuahua named Milo, who is visiting James’s mother-in-law Marina in Florence, Italy. Milo is supposed to be on a diet but it isn’t really working, either because Marina isn’t adhering to the diet or Milo is too obese or something. But Milo comes with Marina at Christmastime for a visit to Paris and they have trouble finding a coat that will fit him, even when they buy a coat that will fit a bulldog.
James and her husband also go on some day trips around France and into Germany. She shares those trips with her readers with narratives in the book. She gives some lectures and her husband goes with her. As their year in Paris draws to a close, Anna and Luca attend tennis camp in Italy and in France.
At the end of their year in Paris, James returned to the States but not to suburban New Jersey. They decided to buy an apartment in New York City and resume city life, as they had lived the city life in Paris.
This was a sweet book. It was interesting to get an idea of how an author works as well as to get a look into her everyday life in The City Of Lights.