|My Grape Paris, Laura Bradbury|
My review today is for My Grape Paris by Laura Bradbury, the fifth memoir of her time spent in France with Franck, her Frenchman. My Grape Paris is released today and for those wanting to read in chronological order, comes in as book two in the series.
Laura and Franck met in Burgundy when she was 17, and on an exchange programme from Canada. You can read all about the beginning of her French adventures in My Grape Year (see my review here).
In this latest memoir, we join the young couple as they return from Montreal (Franck followed Laura back to Canada as soon as he could) to Paris, where Laura is about to embark on a year at the Sorbonne, studying French medieval literature. Before the term begins they need to find somewhere to live, Franck needs to find work, in order to pay the rent, and it soon becomes clear that Laura’s romantic dream of a year in Paris isn’t quite living up to expectations. However, Frenchman Franck is over the moon to be back in his homeland and his relaxed attitude to life and the problems they face begins to make Laura feel uneasy.
As I have come to expect from Laura, this book is written with honesty and shows the good and not so good times she spent as a student in Paris. The administration difficulties, the cultural differences, the ‘interesting’ toilets and certain people who are less than welcoming are all there alongside some of the most amazing Parisian experiences I have ever read about. Laura takes us to places in Paris we would never see without her (and Franck) by our side. Champagne river cruises, hidden amphitheatre’s, libraries, musette dances and insider knowledge on bistros, the Louvre and more, all seen through the eyes of a couple in love, I didn't want it to end. If that isn’t enough to whet your appetite, whether it is a picnic sourced from local market produce in spring, a glass of Kir and aperos in their tiny flat or a meal in a bistro, Laura's descriptions of real French food will make your mouth water and your stomach rumble.
I would love to see an appendix to the book; a map and address list of Laura's Paris and all the secret places she takes us to in the book, it would be a great tour guide to have on my next visit to Paris.
Thanks for sharing your year in Paris in another great memoir Laura. If you have enjoyed Laura's previous memoirs, or love memoirs set in Paris, this book is for you.
All of Laura’s books are available in paperback and ebook format and links to Amazon can be found below.
You can read my reviews of her previous memoirs here:
My Grape Year (book one)
My Grape Wedding (book three) – review coming soon!
My Grape Escape (book four)
My Grape Village (book five)