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Return to Paris: A Memoir Paperback – April 20, 2004

3.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Daily News (New York) An incredible read.

Arthur Schwartz Author, food critic, and Food Talk radio host Rossant can make a ham sandwich sound like a delicacy, and describe a raspberry tart with the same passion that others talk about their love affairs....[F]illed with food moments, observations, even recipes...frank emotionality, angst, and charm.

The Observer (London) [A] book for Francophiles and for anyone else who wants to make simple food well.

San Francisco Chronicle [Rossant] is a skilled writer who can capture any milieu vividly. You can feel...the warmth of the kitchens where she sought and found solace.

About the Author

Colette Rossant is the author of eight cook-books and the memoirs Apricots on the Nile and Return to Paris. A James Beard Award-nominated journalist, she divides her time between New York and France.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (April 20, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743439686
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743439688
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had expected more from this book. A little too self absorbed. The recipes though are great. My book club group read it and some of us made some of the recipes to share, everything was delicious!
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Format: Paperback
"The windows in my study are wide open; I am looking down at the garden. The cherry tree is in full bloom and from above it looks like a very light white cloud. I remember when we planted it thirty years ago. Juliette, my daughter, wanted a small cherry tree for her birthday. We planted what we believed was a miniature cherry tree. To our surprise it grew nearly sixty feet high and produced great, dark Bing cherries. Juliette loves the tree and thinks that when and if we sell the house, she will cut down the tree and use its wood to make furniture."

Wow, that beginning is just typical of people. If you can't have something anymore, you have to destroy it. Anyway...

A young Colette Rossant returned to Paris after living in Egypt. Her mother left her behind to live with her stern grandmother. But in Paris, Colette's sense begin to awaken. She is taken under the wing of Georgette, the cook, and introduced to the city's markets and French cooking, which she quickly grows to love. This memoir accounts her life from when she arrived in Paris to when she eventually married an American, scandalizing her family.

Rossant's prose was very terse and abrupt. It took some getting used to, but then it was good. I was really struck by how cruelly she was treated by her grandmother. I mean, I'm sure her grandmother loved Colette in her own way, but she sure didn't know how to show it! There are also a lot of great recipes included throughout the book (Rossant became a chef), and I liked the descriptions of various foods and dishes. And of Paris.

*You can read all of my reviews at my book review blog, [...]*
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Format: Paperback
I think other reviewers may not have benefited from reading Colette Roussant's books in the order they were written. I have enjoyed all of her beautiful works, being a foodie. It's important to understand why she was shy as a young woman, preferred too eat food she'd made herself and how it took some years for a French-Egyptian lass, raised to enjoy and create food from its absolute essence, to adjust to American culture. I encourage readers to first enjoy Apricots On The Nile, then Madeleines In Manhattan, then Return To Paris. You will then come to absolutely adore these books and understand Colette's gourmet experiences forged by life events. Try a library if you must. Thank you Colette, for all your wonderful works! Julie in Oz
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Format: Paperback
In Return to Paris, which covers her teen and early adult years (after she left Cairo permanently), Collette Rossant constantly showed an air of superiority toward others. When she married an American, this trait became even more evident. She was rude to the American Army wives and spent her time alone rather than mingle with them. When she and her husband moved to New York, she acted the same way toward her mother-in-law. While living with her mother-in-law, she wasn't gracious enough to hide her dislike of the food she was served, sometimes refusing to eat it. Yes, a lot of American food was convenience oriented in the 1950s, but there were plenty of good home cooks. CR was from a family who had full-time cooks, and she was a food snob.

Her attitude made me not like her and not feel sympathy for the poor little rich girl. I will not buy or read any more of her books.
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