Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes - Elizabeth Bard
Boy am I hopeless. The very next day after I wrote this post I went BACK to the bookstore to buy it. I knew that I would like it when I browsed through it and I wasn't mistaken.
I practically devoured the book over several sittings and I just finished it. The cover image I posted is the same cover as the one I bought (I think it's the Australian edition or something).
I think if you liked Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris by Sarah Turnbull you'll definitely like this. That is, if you're like me and can't get enough of books like this....
Anglo girl meets French boy, falls in love, sets up a life together in Paris... talks about difficulties with finding work and grasping the culture differences.. yadda yadda.
This book is different because it's interspersed with recipes (which I admit look rather difficult and the ingredients seem so foreign to me. I am not sure if I am even game enough to attempt them as I don't even know what half the ingredients are or where on earth to find them! hahaha).
The first half of the book seems like a fairytale.. everything is just so lovely and fluffy and peachy but it's not until things take a turn that we're reminded this is a true story, not some fabricated piece of fiction. That's what appeals to me. Reading about life's ups and downs. The good and the bad.
It's easy to like her and I found myself relating to her easily because I think our personalities are quite similar - that is, slightly control-freakish, perfectionistic, idealistic, strong and stubborn, anxiety-ridden, etc etc... also our dysfunctional family and upbringing. It was definitely easy for me to read this book as I could see myself acting exactly the same way as her in those situations.
It's hard for me to say too much without giving anything away (and I hate spoilers so I wouldn't do that) but I really really enjoyed this book because she didn't seem like an arrogant know-it-all, nor a bimbo, but a real, normal regular girl with real worries and problems in life. I could also sense a real maturing of her character when she is tested in several situations.
I could also relate a lot to her stories involving her mother, some of which were hilarious.
Here's an interview with her on paris-expat.com.
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She's actually in Sydney at the moment.. wonder if I can track her down and stalk her .. hehehe.. just kidding! Je plaisante.