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10 thoughts on “Almost French Love and a New Life in Paris

  1. says:

    Oh dear god can I really bring myself to write a review of this book? This has to be honest to goodness one of the worst pieces of writing I have ever had the misfortune to read On so many levelsFirstly we are supposed to believe this person is a professional journalist Well she may be an author but she's no writer I think the editor just had too much work to do here and gave up Commas semi colons even full stops pose a problem The perspective and the tense chop and change between paragraphs and even sentences There is no coherency anywhere So she can't write But can she tell a story? Nope We are dragged through her ridiculous account of moving to Paris and finding the French oh so snobby and unwelcoming and after only a year or two into it she decides that she really should try and learn some of the language Kill me now And the French man is ever so dreamy and so much better than Australian men and knows how to treat a lady Kill Me Now And oh goodness me the wedding and the guest of honour being her horrid scrappy little chihuahua? KILL ME NOW I have spent a lot of time in France living working and holidaying and I have NEVER met ANYONE who ressembles ANY of the characters in this book all pompously presented as representing The FrenchI am a native English speaker French teacher French English translator and linguist I have spent the better part of my life trying to facilitate understanding between cultures and specifically to bridge the ever widening gap between the French and us Anglo Saxons Why ever widening? Because of trash like this Pointles whiney drivvle that perpetuates the love hate stereotypes we've been rehashing and rehashing for generations now Oh the French are so arrogant we hate them Oh they have such impeccable taste and fabulous cuisine we love them Oh the French are too good to speak English and drive like maniacs we hate them Oh they are so good at losing weight and raising their children we love them Puke vomit give me a break If you want a piece of poorly hung together trashy navel gazing rubbish to perpetuate all the zero intelligence stereotypes about the French you can read in a 2 magazine then be my guest If however you want to read something that will actually help you better understand this wonderful rich culture and people there are THOUSANDS of books out there that would serve you betterI would write a comprehensive review of this book but it actually just makes me really angry The popularity of this book and its ilk undoes so much of the work I have personally done to foster mutual comprehension and help bridge the cultural divide If we could both just stop shouting you're so different from me for two seconds we would see how many of our beliefs about the other come directly from rubbish like this and are not in fact true End of rant

  2. says:

    The author an Australian television journalist on a whim heads to Paris to stay with a man a French lawyer that she's met only twice The book is billed as a love story though we actually see very little of Frederic her future husband other than brief caricatured appearances after picking her up at the airport he effortlessly whips up an elegant lunch setting the table with crystal knife rests and an antiue silver bowl filled with flowers While contemplating the opulent table setting the author makes a profound observation that will be repeated throughout the book This must be how things are done in France We are also treated to such insights as 'French woman have no female friends' due to French cultural pressures to be beautiful and sexually attractive therefore all other women are perceived as a threat Okay She also reaches the conclusion that the French 'like meat' and that one wouldn't dare serve say a veggie lasagna at a dinner party This self indulgent author whines and drones on about her difficulties adjusting to ex pat life illustrating with 'hilarious' anecdotal evidence such as wearing Doc Martens to an elegant cocktail party or brashly helping herself to champagne as the other guests wait for their hosts to arrive We also get to hear her complain that Frederic's apartment located in the lovely leafy suburb of Levallois isn't located in the real Paris shockingly after living with him for only 4 months she starts to nag him to buy a place in the centre de ville She struggling to establish herself as a freelance journalist with absolutely no income actually whines that the 20 minute train ride to the center is inconvenient Annoying author aside the book is clunky and poorly edited It seems as though the author put together a collection of her rejected articles on ex pat life and arranged them in chronological order and called it good At times I felt that she tried to follow the general organization of Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon but this book has nothing in the way of the charm or compelling insights that Gopnik so delightfully shared in his collection of essays

  3. says:

    The Kindle blurb begins with the statement Before Eat Pray Love there was Almost French I missed that statement Duh to me I did not like Eat Pray Love But here we are anywayI'm not writing a blurb for this journal I'm sharing my opinion of the book It will therefor contain spoilers There are really great points in this book about the French culture as experienced by a 'radical feminist' as the author was seen in a country where she resided for a few years In her later books she writes about their journey back to the southern hemisphere and ultimately back to her country AustraliaAnother reviewer a linguist Australian and French afficionado did not mince words in declaring this book Pointless whiney drivvle that perpetuates the love hate stereotypes we've been rehashing and rehashing for generations now Alanna's ReviewI was amazed that the author actually remained married and from her point of view happily so We will never hear dearly beloved Frédéric's side of the story through his own words He wouldn't dare I'm sureI found it difficult to believe that the husband the beloved Frédéric happily gave up a century old inheritancea totally foreign and frightening concept to her to follow her back to AustraliaBefore that he had to give up a spacious apartment in a suburb to live in a dump in the Paris city center just to make her happy Frédéric Who'd have enough of those clean leafy streets?' Grinning Frédéric gestures grandly towards the rats and rubbish 'You want Paris? Voilà le vrai Paris'Nothing was ever to her taste She complained about his choice of furniture his way of life his friends his family his everything And ultimately his 'everything' had to go The language was ' a gorgeous mellifluous gabble which I can listen to forever without identifying where one word ends and the next begins Those sliding liaisons and smooth syllables the to die for accent and controlled cadence; together they make an incomprehensible verbal stew';Perhaps his love for his child kept him in the relationship since there was little else justifying this clash of two cultures in which he constantly had to give in She lured him into a shallow world of pop culture and values which defined her but robbed him of himself Who cares? It made her happy She just did not understand the concept of space and freedom he was accustomed to and could not adapt to his world Although she pretends in this book that she tried and became 'almost French' it is clear from her actions that it was just the opposite Unfamiliar with the tradition of retreating to family homes on weekends I resent the routine of it the expectation whereas for Frédéric returning regularly to his pays is the most natural thing in the world He thinks we're lucky having access to a country home just a few hours from Paris Besides the Boulonnais is beautiful I must be crazy not to see it Her observations of the people were sometimes serious sometimes funny like when she described Frédéric's friend Jean Michel While Frédéric smells lightly of Davidoff aftershave Jean Michel's personal aroma is flavoured by ripe armpits What I really appreciate about this book is the absence of endless recipes which so many expats indulge in Hallelujah She had me rolling with laughter describing a flatulent moment in a super marketview spoiler Inside suadrons of English shoppers choke the aisles wheeling trolleys piled with wine spirits and enough beer to sink the ferry on the way home As they pass in shorts and singlets thongs and tracksuit pants—PANTALONS DE JOGGING?—Frédéric’s mood sours by the second Never mind that the Auchan hypermarket in economically depressed Boulogne sur Mer is hardly a summit of style like a crevasse Their sloppy dress standards are ‘polluting’ his hometownRevolted Frédéric glares at an Englishman who is bending for beer causing his shorts to slide south and reveal a substantial expanse of pink bottom We are standing behind him waiting to get near the shelves when he farts Emphatically Explosively It is not the most gracious of gestures to be sure but you’ve got to admit the timing is exuisite What a succinct response to Frédéric’s Brit bashing It’s as though the shopper took aim—Frédéric gassed and stunned is just centimetres from the firing line I practically fall on the floor laughingBut someone experiences a serious sense of humour failure Frédéric is truly genuinely livid The fart is not funny It is—and these are his exact words—‘a declaration of war A lack of respect for French standards AN OUTRAGEOUS PROVOCATION’ And France retreats in a petulant fury abandoning the trolley and leaving the alcohol aisles to the enemy English hide spoiler

  4. says:

    Much much better than the last book I read on Paris The differences were that in the last one most of the major issues facing the author were because of her own stupidity This one she goes into the major cultural differences that she found in the way the French live Even though she was Australian you could definitely relate to the Anglo Saxon mindset she went to France with which seems the same whether you are American English Canadian or Australian The same differences were there the same misunderstandings the same surprise at certain aspects of French behavior You could definitely relate It made the cultural differences seem so vast My only complaint was not one of the book but that the author lived there in the 90’s I imagine that with the increasing globalization internet connection and younger generations the cultural differences are probably much less pronounced than they were when she arrived I definitely won’t be as surprised at something I find bizarre when I go there though From the etiuette at dinner parties to conversation faux pas everything was really fascinating It further helped that she did her best with the aid of her French husband no doubt to explain why the differences were there a shared cultural past social hierarchies left over from times past how women and men perceive one another because of the way they grow up All of it Very fascinating And on a extra note of cultural understanding I thought it was very interesting how similar all Anglo Saxon cultures are

  5. says:

    35★ The idea of living in France sounds lovely but in reality I think I’d probably be lucky to manage living there for any than a month There are just too many things that would drive me batty the bureaucracy the ueues the competitiveness between women which results in a lack of friendliness just the general effort involved in living each day in a culture which involves a completely different perspective compared to the Australian way of life as the author found out I know there are compensations great chocolate pastries and baguettes being able to walk along the Champs Elysees and go to the Louvre and Luxembourg Gardens daily to name a few but I don’t think they’d make up for the mental and emotional toll it would take to change my attitude and way of thinkingThanks to Sarah for doing it and writing about it to make me realise that even if I ever get around to learning the French language learning the French way of life and living it every day is another matter altogether

  6. says:

    This story of an Australian woman who meets and falls in love with a Frenchman almost immediately moving to Paris to live with him is a great illustration of what it's like to be an ex patriate particularly coming from a country with a relatively short history and moving to a place with a deep and rich history The culture clash is evident and reminded me of my own experience living in Japan a place of long history filled with tradition as an American from a place with a much heterogeneous population and far shorter history I found it comforting to know that many of us have similar experiences wherever we are It was also a great glimpse into life in France

  7. says:

    45 rounded up A vivid and captivating personal account of the author Sarah Turnbull’s seven year life in Paris with her boyfriend Frédéric The two met each other by chance at a party in Romania while 27 year old Sarah from Sydney was taking a one year break in Europe Frédéric extended an invitation to Sarah to visit Paris and stay with him for a fortnight Ça y estSarah decided to take the plunge and start a life in Paris with Frédéric when she had neither money nor job and her French and knowledge of the country were hardly serviceable She was always willing or even desperately at times to assimilate uickly As each chapter went by we watch Sarah decipher the secret codes of the French culture become comfortable in her own skin and step further toward the “almost French” she became at the end of the bookThere are plenty in the book that we could call negative stereotypes about French culture and French people particularly Parisians Impenetrable snobby vain dawdling just to name a few Preconceived notions abound to prevent an “étrangère ger” like her to play the part only a guy is expected to pour drinks at the party females are not supposed to laugh out loud arriving on time at a invited dinner would annoy the host etc All those are not new assertions and keep in mind the book was published about 15 years agoYet the author presented her challenges in a endearingly sunny fashion with plenty of witty moments to boot ; the book is void of melodrama as Sarah steered her readers toward the resolution or at least the evolution relating to culture clashes The most memorable parts to me are the details around the couple’s modest Central Paris six floor apartment in a rowdy neighborhood and how the two families from two different continents finally manage to jibe after numerous trial and error Of course Sarah’s couture dog Maddie simply too cuteThe story moved at a good pace to keep my attention from waning The prose was efficient unintimidating and had a smooth flow Sarah’s journalist background served the book wellI’m so glad to have found this one six months before my language immersion in Paris

  8. says:

    This book gets a big fat eh from me I really WANTED to like it It's a memoir of a young Australian woman indeterminately aged who moves to Paris to be with this guy and she ends up staying and discovering true French and Parisian culture Sounds good right? I found it hard to identify with the author and never felt like I was close to her truly understood where she was coming from or found that she was particularly likable All of which I think are important when reading a girly memoir Memoirs are a difficult genre to write and I don't think she ever really got there for me at least although I accept that I am an extremely harsh memoir critic I also felt that the book would have been so much better if ONLY she didn't have the French boyfriend She sort of dances around this topic because clearly she doesn't want to make too much of it and take away from her cultural observations In fact I felt that as a reader I wanted it one way or the other either leave your boyfriend out of things or give me juicy details so that I can understand what your relationship is actually like She sort of hedged and did neither So again ehIf you want warm heartfelt stories about Paris and Parisian culture I would much heartily recommend Adam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon I found his writing style and themes to be much charming and enjoyable

  9. says:

    This is the best I've read so far of the moved to France adjusting to cultural differences genre Sarah the Australian TV journalist goes walk about in Europe meets a Frenchman in Romania and then accepts an invitation from him to visit Paris She goes and the rest is history which this book chronicles She covers the cuisine the fashion the dog mania the trying to make friends and many other situations I particularly loved her description of the bafflement at going to a party where everybody stood around in silence with open champagne bottles but no drinking After Sarah finally takes the plunge and starts pouring champagne in the glasses she is told by somebody that they must wait for all the guests to arrive which she thinks is a big disincentive to get anywhere on time I too had somewhat similar experience when I cooked a big Mexican dinner for a crowd of French people in Paris and wanted to start serving margaritas to everybody when they arrived but was told we had to wait on everybody One person was uite late and I was really frustrated I asked a Brit how they did it in England and was told like Americans people arrive you give 'em a drink Bien sur

  10. says:

    Kirsten gave this to me for the plane ride I enjoyed Turnbull's interpretation of life in France I also liked how she was able to find a line between her own traditions and the traditions of her adopted home It was refreshing to see that she neither tried to cling to heritage nor entirely embrace her new location The one chapter that I didn't agree with was her section devoted to French women She argued that their ways were uptight and unnatural I've grown up with several French female relatives and I would argue that for them their mentality is extremely natural almost primitive in it's approach to daily life I enjoy their frankness I would recommend this book to Francophiles journalists interested in the life as a foreign correspondent and people who like learning about cultural differences Enjoy

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Summary ✓ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ✓ Sarah Turnbull

Almost French Love and a New Life in Paris

Harest changes her travel plans forever Acting on impulse she agrees to visit Frédéric in Paris for a week Put a very French Frenchman together with a strong willed Australian girl and the result is some spectacular and often hilarious cultural clashesLanguage is a minefield of misunderstanding and the simple act of buying a baguette is fraught with social danger But as she navig 35★ The idea of living in France sounds lovely but in reality I think I’d

characters Almost French Love and a New Life in Paris

Before Eat Pray Love there was Almost French'This isn't like me I'm not the sort of girl who crosses continents to meet up with a man she hardly knows Paris hadn't even been part of my travel plan' After backpacking her way around Europe journalist Sarah Turnbull is ready to embark on one last adventure before heading home to Sydney A chance meeting with a charming Frenchman in Buc The Kindle blurb begins with the statement Before Eat Pray Love there was Almo

Summary ✓ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ✓ Sarah Turnbull

Ates the highs and lows of this strange new world from the sophisticated cafés and haute couture fashion houses to the picture postcard French countryside little by little Sarah falls under its spell passionate mysterious infuriating and charged with that French specialty séduction And it becomes her home Almost French is the story of an adventurous heart a maddening city and lov This book gets a big fat eh from me I really WANTED to like it It's a memoir o

  • Kindle Edition
  • null
  • Almost French Love and a New Life in Paris
  • Sarah Turnbull
  • English
  • 11 January 2018
  • null