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Paris in Love: A Memoir Hardcover – April 3, 2012

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Editorial Reviews Review

A Look Inside Paris in Love

Eiffel Tower Eloisa and her husband, Alessandro Eloisa's Daughter, Anna Milo, the family's obese chihuahua Paris in the rains


Praise for Paris In Love
“While the children struggled then triumphed in school and with new friends, the dog grew fatter, and Alessandro advised his French conversation partner in affairs of the heart, James discovered a ‘materialist’s playground’ in Paris, finding just that precious objet or museum or nibble, and relaying in her sensible, reflective prose the lessons to take home and dream over. . . . [An] effervescent diary.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"What a beautiful and delightful tasting menu of a book: the kids, the plump little dog, the Italian husband. Reading this memoir was like wandering through a Parisian patisserie in a dream. I absolutely loved it."—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

"Paris In Love is a witty and delicious memoir,  as  irresistibly charming as Paris itself.  As Eloisa James describes her family's year-long adventure abroad,  her prose shines with her usual romantic flair.  But there is also tenderness,  and wonder,  and the generously imparted wisdom of a woman who takes nothing for granted.  When you read this endearing treasure trove of bons mots,  it's almost as good as being there yourself." —Lisa Kleypas, author of Rainshadow Road

"Mais, Oui! I’m a sucker for travel narratives--I’ve lost count of how many I’ve devoured over the years--Paris In Love is the best I’ve read since Under the Tuscan Sun. James’s gift for language and narrative lets us see what she sees, taste what she tastes (but without the weight gain), and share her funny, touching, always entertaining experiences as she and her family adjust to living in the City of Light. This is a book to be savored, right along with a tart au citron and a glass of pink champagne.  Just pretend your favorite reading chair is at a café table along the rue de Rivoli and enjoy. Marveilleux!"—Susan Elizabeth Phillips, author of Call Me Irresistible

"Eloisa James has written a true romance! By moving to Paris with her cool husband and their two unruly kids for a year, she made her fantasies real—and she's written a book that reads like a dream come true."—Christina Dodd, author of Revenge at Bella Terra

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First Edition edition (April 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781400069569
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400069569
  • ASIN: 1400069564
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (298 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #783,864 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

A reviewer from USA Today wrote that she "found herself devouring [Eloisa's] book like a dieter with a Hershey bar"; People Magazine raved that "romance writing does not get much better than this." Eloisa wrote her first novel after graduating from Harvard, but alas, it was rejected by every possible publisher. After she got a couple more degrees and a job as a Shakespeare professor, she tried again, with much greater success. Over twenty best-sellers later, she teaches Shakespeare in the English Department at Fordham University in New York City. She's also the mother of two children and, in a particularly delicious irony for a romance writer, is married to a genuine Italian knight.

For info about books, visit Or ask a question on Facebook (where Eloisa spends entirely too much time): And then drop in on her very romantic, very Eloisa Tumblr blog, a labor of love:

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 71 people found the following review helpful By mickey71 VINE VOICE on March 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
An Eloisa James book is one of the very few must-buy romances for me, yet I wasn't sure if I would like this nonfiction about her year in Paris. I shouldn't even have hesitated.

The book is a collection of essays (developed from her Facebook postings and tweets) and give a vivid, colorful depiction of daily life in Paris. You can believe that she chose each word very carefully to paint a picture for her readers. And because it's presented as short essays and blurbs, it's easy to pick up and put down. I find it exceptionally good bedtime reading, not because it's boring (it's not), but because it's relaxing. (I'd rather not read about beheadings or shark attacks before trying to sleep, thank you!)

And there are definite laugh-out-loud moments. These are far and away most often caused by James's 11-year-old daughter, Anna, and her arch-nemesis or maybe best friend, Domitilla. (I have to wonder how much of Anna as written is true to the real child and how much is embellished to create the character of Anna, but no matter what, she's absolutely darling.) Other recurring stories include James's mother-in-law's resistance to the idea that her dog, Milo, needs to diet; and the Frenchman learning Italian from James's husband because he's in love with an Italian waitress (shades of Love Actually).

All in all, the only nitpicky thing I have to say about this book is that I don't like the title. "Paris in Love" makes it sound more like a dating couple. Although there's obviously plenty of love and romance between James and her husband, the book is a lot more about familial love, which seems kind of off when described as "in love." But that's a small point.

BOTTOM LINE: Don't hesitate. Buy it; savor it. Just beware of sudden urges to buy elaborate chocolates, gourmet cookware, or delicate French lingerie.
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66 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Jaylia TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
After a bout with cancer, romance novelist Eloisa James took a sabbatical from her university job as a Shakespeare scholar and moved to Paris with her family, where she rightfully enjoyed a year of doing nothing much at all. While there she tweeted and posted Facebook updates on the quirks and joys of living in the City of Light, and this book is a collection of those posts. Most are no more than a few sentences long, and her Twitter followers and Facebook friends were probably delighted to read witty, observant updates about food, shopping and her children's adjustments to school, but, for me, loosely connected paragraphs, no matter how well written, are not the kind of material I want when I sit down with a book. There are several essay length pieces that are more satisfying; I especially enjoyed one titled Rose about a cancer patient friend in a Marilyn Monroe wig. The rest of the book, all the well polished, re-purposed posts, would make great reading for times when only a few minutes are available, in a doctor's office or just before sleep for instance.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Leanne TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When reading memoirs, I usually choose a book based on some kind of connection I might have with the author and her or his life. I decided to read this book since I felt like I had two intersections with James: I'm a fellow francophile who has lived in France and I'm also an English professor. Like other reviewers, though, I had no idea that this book would also be about James' decision to do so after being treated for a major health issue.

I was also surprised to see that a large part of _Paris in Love_ was based on James' Facebook accounts. To me, this ended up making the overall narrative feel a bit disjointed and choppy in places, which is the reason for my four-star review. This is largely a matter of personal preference, but I like memoirs to have a stronger sense of cohesiveness and flow to them.

Overall, though, this is a fun read, one that's easy to dip into before bed or on a rainy day. James' glimpses into Parisian life are interesting and fun, and reading this has made me long to return to the City of Light!
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70 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Maine Colonial TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Reading the book description, you'd never know that this is little more than a collection of the Facebook and Twitter posts the author made during her year in Paris with her husband and kids. Though the author confesses this at the beginning, not only does the publisher not tell us that important fact, they advertise the book as being for fans of Adam Gopnik. Seriously? His Paris to the Moon is engaging, entertaining, thoughtful--and an actual book.

The entries range from the mind-numbingly mundane to a (very) few vignettes that evoke a real feeling of life in Paris. The constant, though, is the author's complete self-absorption. I enjoyed a few of the observations about Paris, and there are flashes of humor and moments of charm, but there just wasn't enough to balance all the dear-diary kind of blathering about the author and her family. There are countless entries about her two kids who, frankly, seem like a couple of brats most of the time. And even if they weren't, dozens of kid anecdotes (mostly about their problems in school) aren't what I'm looking for in a book that's ostensibly about Paris.

The author had planned to write four books (no kidding) during the year in Paris, but the book doesn't indicate she spent much time writing. This short, superficial, disjointed book of domestic inanity seemed like a contractual obligation or an attempt to make a few bucks without real effort. It's particularly annoying, because you can tell that the author has writing talent and likely could have produced something worth reading. Save your money.
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