I loved every single thing about Paris in Love: A Memoir by Eloisa James.
When Eloisa James's mother dies of cancer in 2007 and then two weeks she herself is diagnosed with the same cancer, she was sure she knew what would happen next:
"I immediately started anticipating the epiphany when I would be struck by the acute beauty of life. I would see joy in my children's eyes (rather than start rebellion), eschew caffeine, and simply be, preferably while doing yoga in front a sunset."
When all of that didn't happen, she decided that rather than living her life in the moment, she wanted to live someone else's life - the life of someone who lives in Paris.
Since she and her husband are both college professors, they were able to take a sabbatical and set off for Paris with their two children in tow. She is a writer, and had plans for writing 4 books, while in Paris…none of them being a book about her actually being in Paris. So, this book is actually written from small updates, almost journal entries, some even just Facebook status posts. Which makes it wonderfully entertaining and a quick read. It is a life in Paris given to us in humorous bite-size glimpses.
"I walked into a hair salon yesterday and asked for my customary red highlights; the coiffeur snapped: "Non! For you, gold. Red is not chic." It's a good thing that our apartment is fitted with low-wattage, environmentally friendly lightbulbs, because strong light turns me into a marigold."
"A row of elegantly narrow dormer windows sprouts from the building opposite my study. Sometimes a gaunt woman with beautiful cheekbones and sleek black hair pushes open her window and leans out. smoking and flicking the asked onto the slate. Today she wears a red dress and looks as if she belongs in an eighteenth-century novel, the kind in which heroines come to a bad end."
"Today we went to Sunday brunch at one of Gordon Ramsaay's restaurants in Versailles, La Veranda. The entrees were fine … but the desserts! I tried nine, determined to learn, through empirical research the very best one. The delicious, chewy passion fruit macaroni? The froufrou hot pink marshmallows, the four flavors of creme, the fig tart, the delicate clafoutis? The winner was a dainty cake with a crackling top and luscious mango cream inside, because it was like biting into one of Alice's Wonderland cakes: inside was a voluptuous surprise."