Saturday, March 24, 2012

Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas

Last year I very nearly tormented myself due to the strength of my longing, palpable longing, to renew my acquaintance with Paris. I read books, watched movies, participated in blogging events. I am pretty sure I dreamed of Paris. This year, I have managed to back away from that a little bit, which is probably a little more mentally healthy, but I very nearly had a relapse reading this book!

This book is the story of blogger turned author Amy Thomas swapping her fabulous life in New York for fabulous life in Paris for a year. Amy has a self confessed sweet tooth and so a lot of the focus on the book is about finding the best French desserts on offer.

The food descriptions in this book are fabulous. I was certainly left wishing that I had a cupcake or a cookie, a macaron or one of those delectable little cakes that seem to be popular in Paris by my side as I read through the pages.

One of the differences between this book and others, is that not only does Thomas talk about the new experiences that she is having in Paris, she also compares and contrasts those experiences with her New York memories. For example, in one of the early chapters she talks about how cupcakes are crossing the Atlantic from New York to Paris, but also that macarons have made the opposite journey and where to find the best of each in both of those cities.

If you had the good fortune to be heading to either city, you could use the author's experiences as a guide to finding some of the best indulgences, especially seeing as there are handy maps and also lists of websites, contact phone numbers, addresses etc for many of the places that were mentioned in both cities.

There was a point where I was a little concerned about the direction the narrative was taking when Thomas started lamenting her lack of a love life. Whilst I have no doubt that it was a very real preoccupation, I wasn't sure that I wanted to read yet another I moved to Paris/Tuscany/choose-your-own-destination and had a fabulous life and fell in love with a fantastic guy too! Fortunately, that was a short aberration!

One thing that I did think the author did a great job of was in explaining the feelings that come when you are living overseas for an extended period of time. I spent five years living in the UK, and I could totally relate to the feelings of knowing that you were lucky to be able to live where you are, but also wishing you were back at home some times too. And then when you do go back, you miss your life in your new location! It's like you are living in two places, never fully in either one! Even when I returned home, it took about 18 months to feel like I was fully at home again, and then within six months of finally achieving that feeling I ended up moving to a different city in Australia.

If you have a sweet tooth, if you want to live vicariously through the eyes of Amy Thomas as she spends time in both Paris and New York, then this may be a good choice for you. She certainly had me wishing that I could spend even just a couple of weeks in Paris exploring some of the culinary highlights!

Rating: 4/5
Forever a girl obsessed with all things French, sweet freak Amy Thomas landed a gig as rich as the purest dark chocolate: leave Manhattan for Paris to write ad copy for Louis Vuitton. Working on the Champs-Élysées, strolling the charming streets, and exploring the best patisseries and boulangeries, Amy marveled at the magnificence of the City of Light.

But does falling in love with one city mean turning your back on another? As much as Amy adored Paris, there was part of her that felt like a humble chocolate chip cookie in a sea of pristine macarons. PARIS, MY SWEET explores how the search for happiness can be as fleeting as a salted caramel souffle's rise, as intensely satisfying as molten chocolate cake, and about how the life you're meant to live doesn't always taste like the one you envisioned.

Part love letter to Paris, part love letter to New York, and total devotion to all things sweet, PARIS, MY SWEET is a treasure map for anyone with a hunger for life.

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. For more information, see the welcome post.

45 comments:

  1. when I read this, I too was a little concerned when this started to get a little too wrapped up in her love life..or lack of love life. but the food descriptions...oh my, so good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am glad it wasn't just me. I did wonder if I was being a bit sensitive given that I am older, not so fabulous and single!

      Delete
  2. I'm glad you enjoyed this book! Here is my recipe for Chewy Granola Bars You can put Dark choc. in them:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm... Dark chocolate hidden in Chewy Granola Bars sounds delicious!

      Delete
  3. This sounds great! I definitely have a sweet tooth too :) I didn't know you spent 5 years in the UK - that is really cool! Have a great w'end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you have a good weekend too Libby!

      Delete
  4. I shouldn't read this one. I have a sweet tooth too.:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tea, as someone said in the comments below...no calories in reading about it!

      Delete
  5. This sounds fabulous but may have me missing Europe or UK. Even though I was in the UK only for about a year, I know what you mean about the divided feelings of home and abroad. Since I'll be in New York for BEA in June, I'll have to check out some of the New York recommendations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jealous that you are going to New York! Hopefully you will find some good recommendations in the book.

      Delete
  6. I have a hankering to go to Paris, and books like these just encourage me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know exactly what you mean Diane!

      Delete
  7. I liked this book too. The food descriptions were amazing. I got so hungry while reading this book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was definitely left wanting the food she was describing Anne!

      Delete
  8. Huge sweet tooth, I should read this book! No calories in reading :) Sounds like a good read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "No calories in reading."

      Love that!

      Delete
  9. Definitely must read this. I love all things Paris. I lived in the UK for 3 years so I know exactly what you mean by having to readjust and feeling neither here nor there. Craving a pistachio macaron now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jama, I think it is an emotion that just about everyone who lives away can relate to.

      I am craving a blackberry macaroon myself!

      Delete
  10. I have to confess that I love and miss American baked goods so much! Here I am, living in the land of patisseries, and I spend my weekends making carrot cakes and trying to re-create cream cheese icing. I guess the grass is always greener, especially when you've lived in two countries/cultures.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beth, I thought of you when reading this book. You might find some places that would mail order to you, or where you could visit if you get to Paris.

      Do you visit Paris much?

      Delete
  11. I've seen this book around, but hadn't really looked into it so carefully. I think I would really enjoy it. I've lived close to NYC all my life and last summer visited Paris for the first time after it was on my wish list of things to do since I started taking French in the 7th grade! Ahem.. a long time ago. ;) I'm going to add this book to my wish list--talk of Paris, NYC and desserts? Oh yeah. I'm on it.
    Thanks for bringing it to my attention, Marg! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Christine, sounds like it would tick a lot of your boxes! Hope you enjoy it if you read it.

      Delete
  12. I think this book would be very dangerous for MY sweet tooth. I'm sure I'd be wanting cupcakes and chocolate and macarons!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am pretty sure you would be wanting those too, Softdrink!

      Delete
  13. I have seen this book on a few blogs lately. I love the cover and it sounds an interesting book. Might get it just for the foodie descriptions alone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has just come out recently so it has been on a few blogs.

      Delete
  14. Oh, I had such fun celebrating all things French around Bastille Day last year. It looks like I've just picked my book for this July!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joy, I participated in Paris in July for the last couple of years, and it definitly was a lot of fun.

      If it is on again this year I will definitely participate again, even though it feeds my longing to go to Paris.

      Delete
  15. There's no better way to view a city than through it's food. I will need to find this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Margot, Melbourne has a bit of a foodie reputation. I wonder what the city looks like through it's food!

      Delete
  16. I am pretty sure my waistline can't afford to read this book... Shame! Thanks for the post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Carole, as the other Carole said...no calories in reading!

      Delete
  17. MMM dark chocolate! I could read this book just for that alone. I think i will look for this book. As someone who lived in the UK for a year, I know how she - and you - felt living in another country. I came back too, though part of me is left in York, it was such a beautiful city.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan, that's exactly how it is! You leave a small part of you behind.

      Delete
  18. I enjoyed this too, but not all of the biological-clock-ticking stuff. I have never lived in another country (I'm from the UK), it must be a wonderful opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sam, I certainly feel lucky to have been able to do so!

      Delete
  19. I think the strength of this book, too, was in the descriptions of the places she visited and all the sweet things she ate. It did veer off a bit in the relationship area and maybe there was a tad too much detail that I wondered about (that seemed private), but all in all this was a fun and entertaining read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Danielle, a lot of these types of books do focus on the finding love in a foreign country as one of the hooks so I did think that was where it was going!

      Delete
  20. I need to get around to this one of these days. I have it. Just a matter of reading it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't beat yourself up! It only just came out! lol

      Delete
  21. While I have 0 desire to visit France, this does seem like a yummy little book. My travel wish is the visit the UK--but I bet the treats are better in France! :)
    *smiles*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kim, the UK definitely has some great reasons to visit!

      Delete
  22. The cover alone looks so attractive already! :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. I saw this book in the bookstore a few weeks ago when I was looking for more books on Jackie Kennedy (I am completed obsessed with her!). I picked it up because the title intrigued me and read the blurb...even though I LOVE chocolate, I wasn't sure the book would keep me interested. I should have picked it up based on your review! Now I'll have to go back and get it!

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP