C'est La Vie : An American Woman Begins a New Life in Paris and--Voila!--Becomes Almost French
C'est La Vie An American Woman Begins a New Life in Paris and--Voila--Becomes Almost French Author:Suzy Gershman Bestselling writer Suzy Gershman (dubbed "Super Shopper Suzy" by Oprah) is our answer to Peter Mayle in this heartfelt, breezy, and funny story of starting over in Paris. Suzy had always fantasized about moving to Paris with her husband, but when he dies unexpectedly, she decides to fulfill their dream alone. Here she gives a deliciously conv... more »ersational chronicle of her first year in Paris and of the dizzying delights and maddening frustrations of learning to be a Parisian. Filled with Gershmans insiders tips on everything from cooking the perfect clafoutis tonaturally shopping, Cest la Vie is delightfully entertaining and captures the exhilarating experience of beginning a new adventure.« less
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Jean C. reviewed C'est La Vie : An American Woman Begins a New Life in Paris and--Voila!--Becomes Almost French on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I truly enjoyed this book from cover to cover. I've been to Paris many times and found her info to be accurate. Some reviews of this book pointed out that she writes too much about shopping. I didn't find that to be true. Besides, I liked the shopping tips that she gave when she did write about it. I found this book inspiring in the sense that this woman who lost her husband was able to start a new life in Paris. Loved it!
As someone who has fantasized about moving to another country, I found this book to be ... interesting. Things I liked: the author included the mundane, but useful, details like: how much sheets cost, what American standards weren't available in France, how to adjust to the cultural differences like the size of the average US apartment vs. average French apartment, etc. She talked a LOT about money, which I liked. If you're looking for a real "how-to guide" for undertaking an overseas move, this is a book I would recommend. However, it is obvious that, despite the author's attempt to portray herself as "an average American," she has a lot more funds than the average person! It was ironic to read her worries about the cost of the move, the cost of shipping her belongings, the cost of renting an apartment, etc, all the while thinking, "geez, if this is hard for her, with her money, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for me!"
After taking into account those two aspects, along with my hopes for what the book would be about, I rated it as average.
A book about following your dreams even after life throws you huge obstacles. The descriptions of attempting to learn the french culture from a very American standpoint made me laugh out loud! The author is actually a travel writer, and along with descriptions of great finds (from out of the way hotels, to fabulous bargain shopping!) she gives the ACTUAL ADDRESSES of the places she is talking about! You could easily plan a trip to Paris after reading this book :).
I enjoyed this book. You have to view this author's writing in the context of her expertise, shopping and dining. I have used her Born to Shop travel guidebooks(now published by Frommer's)for many years and for many cities and countries. They are excellent guides for shopping, dining, and what parts of the cities/countries will be worthwhile and which parts to skip. They are NOT guides for cultural activities, museums, historical places, etc. The best recommendations are for who has the best restrooms on your travels. This book is much more personal than the Born to Shop series.