August 17, 2006


It's cooled down considerably, and there's a promise of autumn in the air. Now that we've rearranged the balcony to accomodate actual living (ours and the cats), we keep the balcony doors open 24-7, and the breeze coming through makes me think longingly of fall. Or at least rain.

In a few minutes I'm off to bed, but first... first I want to share with you a book I finished recently named "C'est la Vie : An American Conquers the City of Light, Begins a New Life, and Becomes--Zut Alors!--Almost French" by Suzy Gershman.

I'm a fan of travelogues and travel essays. Perhaps it's because I'm one of those people who often thinks about picking up and trying something new, but the idea of someone taking a deep breath and plunging into a whole new environment is extremely appealing. Over the years I've worked my way through a variety of authors, from Bill Bryson's tongue-in-cheek explorations, to Colette Rossant's time in Egypt (Apricots on the Nile) and then back to France (Return To Paris), to Sarah Turnbull's Almost French and Edith Wharton's classic Essays From Abroad. Eventually I got to this book, and I was looking forward to the opportunity to see into one woman's adjustment into a new society, how she dealt with widowhood, how she dealt with the differences between her own background (Texan, by way of Connecticut) and her new one (French, and more specifically, Parisian), how she made friends (male and female) and how she dealt with being a woman newly on her own.

Well. Colour me disappointed.

Either the author is still dealing with painful issues surrounding her husband's death due to cancer, and she didn't want to share something that personal, or she really is that shallow. Instead of a hoped-for memoir, I got a long-winded essay on shopping and eating and name-dropping and spending an amazing amount of money on stuff. That and launching into an affair with a married man.

Maybe a little MFK Fisher would make this a faded memory faster, non?

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