We'll Always Have Paris

We'll Always Have Paris

Trying and Failing to Be French

Book - 2016
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As a bored, moody teenager, Emma Beddington came across a copy of French ELLE in the library of her austere Yorkshire school. As she turned the pages, full of philosophy, sex and lipstick, she realized that her life had one purpose and one purpose only: she needed to be French. Instead of skulking in her bedroom listening to The Smiths or trudging to Betty's Tea Room to buy fondant fancies, she would be free and solitary, sitting outside the Café de Flore with a Scottie dog at her feet, a Moleskine on the table and a Gauloise trembling on her lower lip. And so she set about becoming French: she did a French exchange, albeit in Casablanca; she studied French history at university, and spent the holidays in France with her French boyfriend. Eventually, after a family tragedy, she found herself living in Paris, with the same French boyfriend and two half-French children. Her dream had come true, but how would reality match up? Gradually Emma realized that she might have found Paris, but what she really needed to find was home.Written with enormous wit and warmth, this is a memoir for anyone who has ever worn a Breton T-shirt and wondered, however fleetingly, if they could pass for une vraie Parisienne.
Publisher: London, Macmillan,, 2016.
ISBN: 9781447285793
Characteristics: 343 pages ; 22 cm.


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Oct 01, 2017

Sweet, funny, honest. A compelling memoir. I couldn't stop reading, and I'm so happy that I can continue to follow the tale on Beddington's blog. Highly, highly recommended.

Jun 15, 2016

I'm not sure about this one: it's a strange mixture of too much info, & not enough. There’s a lot about Englishness in the times we live in (France and Belgium play big roles in the background but so does London), bound up with a grief memoir - I just wasn't expecting that. The writing is consistently good: it's the sudden shifts in tone and large gaps in the life story that make for an uneven but still engaging read. I don't think the author's been helped by a cover & title unsuited to what's inside. How about a nice piece of cake on the cover for any reprints? Cake is big in this book.

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