Saturday, March 31, 2007

Almost French

I finished reading Almost French by Sarah Turnbull last Saturday. It is a memoir of her experience as an expat living in Paris. I tossed back and forth while reading this book, between liking it and not. In the beginning I was rather taken with it, as I love reading about Europe and Europeans, but after a while I got kind of annoyed with it. She didn't attempt to hide her ugly Australian in her account of her story, but I would hope that she was exaggerating for the goal of trying to be funny. As someone who is European, I didn't not find these things funny, and as an American, I found myself embarrassed, knowing too well that Americans are often guilty of the same offences. Well, all of that is personal for me, but concerning the writing, I felt that she dragged on a bit too long about not fitting in, and worst of all, how no one was going out of there way to make her feel accepted. It just came off as whiny, and I really couldn't help feeling like she should be the one trying to fit in, and not trying to change the people she was choosing to live among. Well, about a third of the way through, the character of her story changed, and she seemed like she was actually making an effort to fit in. Many of her descriptions of Paris life were fun, and made me long to go there again. She wrote a fun chapter on fashion, and how the french look at clothes. I think that was the best part for me. Overall, this was an average book for me. I don't think I would have finished it if it wasn't for the fact that we are reading it in my book club, however it ended up more fun toward the end and I am glad I got to read what she had to say about french fashion and food.

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