Book review: ‘Paris In Love’ by Eloisa James

Paris In LoveI love daydreaming about Paris.

It’s one of my favorite pastimes, in fact. The people, the architecture, the desserts . . . all tantalizing. Intoxicating. Absorbing. If I had the funds and vacation time (both quite elusive these days), I’d be on a transcontinental flight faster than you can say macaron.

But alas. Until I can sip wine beneath the Eiffel Tower in person, I’ll have to settle for delightful stories like Eloisa James’ memoir Paris In Love.

After surviving cancer shortly after her mother recently died of the disease, Eloisa James convinces her husband, son and daughter to move abroad for a year to discover what the Parisian life is all about. With Anna and Luca settled in a new school and Alessandro learning the local ropes, Eloisa settles in to absorb the city and work on several books.

A popular and prolific romance novelist, Eloisa makes no bones about her French journey: though she may wish she and her family came away from the experience with amazing “life lessons” or a greater appreciation for family or the passage of time, what their year abroad really taught her was to try and be in the moment. Life is just life. Told as a series of vignettes, Paris In Love is a compilation of her skillfully-crafted Facebook and Twitter updates from their time in the City of Light — occasionally expanded into short essays about subjects as diverse as Anna’s burgeoning friendships, French food, a nearby dance school and more.

It was a different reading experience — and a quick one. James’ thoughts are shared in paragraph-long snippets that, while chronological, don’t necessarily connect from one page to the next. The results felt like reading someone’s travel journal: little glimpses of day-to-day life for a stranger in a strange land, trying to blend with the locals while getting some work done. The most charming passages focused on Luca and Anna, Alessandro and Eloisa’s children, and I looked forward to hearing about their ex-pat adventures in school.

Francophiles and armchair travelers will find Paris In Love to be a fast, delightful read — and James’ fans will welcome an opportunity to know the author better through her memoir. If Paris lacks sparkle for you, you’ll likely find the descriptions hum-drum — but if you’re looking to escape to the other side of the Atlantic for a few hours, James’ invitation to come along is a fun one.

4 out of 5!

ISBN: 0812981901 ♥ GoodreadsLibraryThingAmazonAuthor Website
Review copy provided by publisher in exchange for my honest review

14 thoughts on “Book review: ‘Paris In Love’ by Eloisa James

  1. I must read this! But Meg, seriously, you HAVE TO READ “LE ROAD TRIP”!!! It is written by Vivian Swift and is in the form of illustrations and musings of Vivian who goes to France with her new husband. It is sweet, romantic, hilarious (talk about living in the moment…so many things go wrong!) and informative. You will love that book I promise. It is the next best thing to going there.


    • Okay, Sandy — you’ve convinced me! Le Road Trip has just been purchased and is on its way. Think this calls for a baguette to enjoy during the reading experience . . . (Seriously, can anyone get through a book mentioning French food and not go sprinting for the kitchen?!)


  2. Congratulations on your award, Megan! You’ve done amazing things already. Thank you for sharing your blogs with us. It’s the first time I”ve been here, but I’ll be a regular visitor from now on.


  3. I’ve been meaning to read this book since I first saw it in Chapters because, like you, I also have a facination with Paris. Thanks for the great review and for reminding me to put it higher on my to-buy list!


    • You probably wouldn’t know they’re social media updates if James wasn’t upfront about that in the beginning, Charlie; I’m usually not a fan of the epistolary “look I’m so hip using my updates!” game, but it’s definitely done in a tasteful and non-cheesy way. They’re really just short paragraphs — though they pack a big punch! I wouldn’t lead you astray. 🙂


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