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Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes Paperback – February 7, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
While the book was interesting, it seemed much too self-indulgent in places. Memoirs, of course, are nothing if not self-indulgent, but Bard's recounting of her relationship with her husband seemed to draw out scenarios that didn't quite merit the attention that she gave them. I did enjoy the intermingling of her stories with the recipes that inspired each narrative, and found it to be a creative (if not original) play on the memoir genre.
The book itself is light-hearted and fun, although it is also tinctured with darker elements, such as Bard's revelations about her father's manic depression. Having lived in France for a year when I was about Bard's age, I could also relate to her descriptions of French culture and the French mode de vie. Overall, I would recommend this book if you're looking for a light read.
But, there was a major turn-off. It was cheapened by some chapters being a Sex-in-the-City romp. The first paragraph she tells how she slept with her husband on the first date. While this is ordinarily fine and can make for fun reading, it is not okay in a memoir. She insists she is not the type, but then the reader is repeatedly informed of the size of the authors breasts on way too many occasions for me to take her seriously as a grown up.
In one chapter,you are charmed by her sincere husband and her sincere emotions of falling in love with him, some lovely childhood memories, and I start to think what a lovely intelligent, sensitive person this is. Then, in the next minute, she is off for a wild Sex-in-the-City romp with her college friend, throws in some cleavage comments, has a wild party with fashionistas.
I love many parts of the book, but I am equally turned off by many other parts of the book. I was VERY ambivalent. This inconsistenty of a delicate, well meaning sensitive protagonist being young and going through some growth pains while living abroad was all good. The lovely images of France are all good. But, then the wow-girl-check-me-out-sex-in-the-city turns she takes,too-much-intimate-gratuitous personal exposure, makes this for me a very inconsistent bumpy experience. Quality, then Cheap Goods, Quality, then Cheap Goods.Read more ›
Bard seems to wish to write about how the joys of life in Paris encouraged her to move past the goal-oriented value system that she learned in the U.S.A. However, she, or rather her ego, keeps getting in the way. I almost threw the book down in disgust when, within the first 50 pages, she not only referred to herself in the third person but used it as adjected, as in, "That's so Elizabeth." Ugh. Really? This is not an isolated incident. After that, the reader has the immense pleasure of hearing her reference to her Ivy League education, but nothing about what that experience was like. Then, the reader is repeatedly told that the writer is thin, while also being told that the writer can't fit into any of the average clothes sizes, and that the best way to deal with this is to eat more. The latter might have been more entertaining if the writer had had more of a sense of humor about herself. Again and again, these little bits of ego stand in the way of what probably was an enchanting time in her life.
Overall, I got the sense that this book really didn't have the strong hand of an editor in it. The book seems unsure as to whether it's a collection of stories with recipes (loosely) tied to them or the story of a woman's journey into post-college adulthood. When I was reading it, I wondered if the book was based on a blog, and the editor had just printed the whole thing out and not bothered to encourage any real sense of order.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I enjoyed reading this book. The story is interesting itself. Plus the recipes are very useful. I had try some of them, and was very pleased with the outcome.Published 3 hours ago by Irina Batyuk
This is one of the few books that accurately describe what it’s like to live in Paris. The real version, not the Instagram one. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Jordan Phillips
As a Francophile and a foodie, this book hit the spot. Having lived and cooked in France, I found Bard's account both highly accurate and entertaining. Read morePublished 13 days ago by N. Ashman
Beautifully written. A charming view into contemporary life in Paris.Published 1 month ago by A. Coles
I am loving this book. I'm only on page 82 and I'm trying to read it slowly so it will last longer.
I'm making a couple of the recipes tonight.
I was disappointed with the book, possibly because I didn't care for the recipes.Published 3 months ago by Coco
Lunch in Paris is a real story. Sure, you have the normal Paris-colored glasses on while reading, but it's not all pastries and walks along the Seine. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Jess