Book Review: Paris in Love by Eloisa James

Title: Paris in Love  

Author: Eloisa James
Genre: Memoir  
Format: Kindle  
Year Published: 2012  
Source: I “borrowed” this Kindle book from through my local library

Paris is Love is Eloisa James’ account of the year that her family, including her husband and two children, spent in Paris. After she had a bout with cancer, James and her husband took sabbaticals from their American university jobs to live in Paris.

The book is really a collection of essays based on Facebook entries and tweets that James sent during her year abroad. Because of this, the entries are short, more like blog posts. They make perfect light reading at bedtime. I have been reading Gone Girl, but I don’t want to read that before trying to sleep!

Some readers have complained that the book is too much about the author’s reflections of her personal experiences in Paris, but isn’t that what a memoir is supposed to be? This is not a dry account of the family’s days in Paris, nor is it an academic attempt (James and her husband are professors) to understand the French way of life. They are only in Paris for a year, and they are not going to get to know people in any real depth.

It is more an account of the delights of Paris, although James is surprised by the amount of homeless people and how many bad restaurants Paris has to offer. The delightful museums and shops are thoroughly enjoyed by the entire family.

Her children are enrolled in an Italian school in Paris and their attempts to become fluent in both French and Italian, and also adjusting to much harder academic standards, are hilarious. The book is a mostly lighthearted account of an enviable time in their lives.

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