My review today is for Pas Possible: Falling in and out of Love with France by Jessica Pasa, a memoir of time spent studying in France.
In this book we join Jessica as she visits France to improve her French, firstly on a short high school exchange with a family who own a chicken farm south of Paris and later on as she spends a year studying in Toulouse. I fell in love with this book in the introduction where we learn that her grandparents, who had an extraordinarily colourful background, spoke French at their home in the US and probably sowed the seed that led Jessica to France. I would love to read more about her family history, as her grandparent’s journey from Europe to Morocco and to the US sounds fascinating.
Jessica knows that France is somewhere she has to visit and from the beginning of her first trip she embraces the experience, despite things not always being easy. This led to a great relationship with her original host family that was to last many years and visits to the US and France. Her enthusiasm was contagious and I enjoyed reading about her experiences and travels somewhere so far from home.
The year she spent studying in Toulouse was more difficult, but she shared her experiences openly and honestly. Fitting in is not always easy and although she may have changed her goals and ideas as her life in Toulouse progressed, it was still obvious that she learned a lot from her experiences and she gives the reader a great insight into student life away from home. She also really made me want to visit the city that has been on my wish list for a while and as it’s only about a four hour drive from home I do need to put in a bit more effort and get there.
As any good memoir author does, Jessica left me wanting more, hinting at how she is now married (to a Francophile bien sûr) so more adventures in France might one day be the subject of another memoir. I’m waiting!
Pas Possible: Falling in and out of Love with France is available in ebook format and a link to Amazon can be found below. You can also read more from Jessica on her blog and follow her on Facebook.