Most helpful positive review
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An Amusing Tale for Anyone Who's Ever Dreamed of Paris
on October 14, 2011
This is the true story of an American, a 50-something-year-old woman who'd always been fascinated with France, who packed up and moved to Paris just six weeks after the sudden death of her husband. I was attracted to this story because I, too, have always had a love affair with anything French. Does the author like to name drop? Absolutely. Does she come across as vain and self-centered? In many ways, yes. Did she neglect her college age son by leaving him alone after his father's death? In my opinion, yes. But I'm not here to judge anyone else's personal choices. And contrary to the many naysayers, I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it... especially if you're someone who's always dreamed of moving to the City of Light.
I thought this book was amusing, insightful and well written. In fact, I couldn't put it down. I lived in Paris for two years, so maybe I'm a little prejudiced, but this story really resonated with me. As an American, I can tell you that it's very possible to love France but still miss American things, and in particular, some American foods. Even seemingly simple ingredients are different in different counties. For instance, French baking soda is sold in the pharmacy, not the grocery store, and it's not the same as the American version. I love to bake, and during my time in Paris, I learned how to adapt my American recipe and make brownies that even my French friends raved about. But I never could get my chocolate chip cookie recipe--my specialty--to turn out right in a French kitchen. So, I really loved the author's account of flying a frozen Butterball turkey back to France for Thanksgiving! While some people might roll their eyes at things like this, it's the little, everyday things that one misses when living in a foreign country.
I'm very surprised at all the low ratings for this book. In my opinion, this story is funny and very true to life. OK, I agree that Suzy herself might get on a person's nerves. But who can resist Samantha Joe Cocker, the middle-aged (7-year-old) dog the author adopted from a shelter in Connecticut? Samantha Joe, quote/unquote "the ugliest dog you have ever seen," took the opportunity to reinvent herself in France--she "moved from the pound to Paris with style and a wag ... and never looked back"! I'm sorry, but I think those who are super critical of this book are taking it a tad too seriously.
As a side note: Suzy Gershman said that she had no intention of ever returning permanently to the U.S., yet I read elsewhere that she is now back and currently living in California. I wonder why? Well, maybe like me, she discovered that while France is great, the pull of one's home country is just too powerful to resist.