A Group Biography Tells Women’s Stories from the French Resistance

Review: A Train in Winter, by Caroline Moorehead They had spent the months in Romainville very close together and it was as a train full of friends, who knew each other’s strengths and frailties, who had kept each other company at moments of terrible anguish, and who had fallen into a pattern of looking after each other, that they set out for the unknown. Historian Caroline … Continue reading A Group Biography Tells Women’s Stories from the French Resistance

A Light in the Darkest Places

Book review: The Only Girl in the World, by Maude Julien My father is convinced that the mind can achieve anything. Absolutely anything: it can overcome every danger and conquer every obstacle. But to do this requires long, rigorous training away from the impurities of this dirty world. He’s always saying, “Man is profoundly evil, the world is profoundly dangerous.” This memoir, written by a … Continue reading A Light in the Darkest Places

An American Real Estate Nightmare In Paris

Book review: L’Appart, by David Lebovitz People tell me I’m lucky to live in Paris. But I didn’t have any lucky stars (les astres) to thank. I was responsible for making it happen, but I was also to blame for the mess I was in. I adore charming, funny, upbeat American expat-in-Paris chef/blogger David Lebovitz. I discovered him when I was also an expat in France, though not … Continue reading An American Real Estate Nightmare In Paris

Perspectives On Paris

Book review: A Paris All Your Own, edited by Eleanor Brown “My time in Paris was like no one else’s ever.” “In the end, I think Paris kept us married for an extra five years.” “I should probably write an article for a women’s magazine about this: ‘Lose Weight While Eating Your Feelings in Paris!’” A Paris All Your Own is a collection of impressionistic essays … Continue reading Perspectives On Paris

Updating the Legacy of a War Heroine

Book review: Lindell’s List by Peter Hore Early on in reading Lindell’s List, I realized there was no way I was going to be able to keep track of all the people who were in some way involved in the stories and narrative, whether integrally or peripherally. There were so many introduced in rapid succession, and sometimes they’d be gone just as quickly, and I got lost. I … Continue reading Updating the Legacy of a War Heroine

Ladies of the City of Light’s Darkest Days

Book review: Les Parisiennes, by Anne Sebba Anne Sebba writes in her extensive history of the lives of Parisian women during WWII that it’s our task to understand, not to judge. And the women whose lives are covered range across such a broad spectrum, from those with selfless motives and actions to those who didn’t act as honorably as might be expected. She tells the … Continue reading Ladies of the City of Light’s Darkest Days

A Found Memoir of Running and Refuge

Book review: Asylum, by Moriz Scheyer Viennese author Moriz Scheyer completed his memoir of being wrenched from his life as an editor and critic for a major newspaper in Vienna and hiding out in France even before World War II had ended. Considering that, it’s incredible that he had so much perspective about what was going on in the war and abroad. Some people try to … Continue reading A Found Memoir of Running and Refuge

Breakfast in America, en français

Book review: Pancakes in Paris by Craig Carlson photo of Breakfast in America 2, credit: Cedric Roux, www.cedricroux.com Sweet, hilarious memoir of an American who got to do what so many people dream about (or threaten to do if their presidential candidate doesn’t win) – move abroad and open a classic American-style diner. Not just anywhere, but the dreamiest place of all, Paris. His goal, in … Continue reading Breakfast in America, en français

Best Notes for the Grand Tour

Book review: Leading the Blind Leading the Blind is Alan Sillitoe’s witty compilation of some of the most interesting, bizarre, quirky or hilariously biased and outdated bits from 19th century guide books to continental Europe, with a select few parts of the Middle East thrown in for good measure. These guide books were tailored to wealthy British travelers doing trendy Grand Tours across Europe, and were full of … Continue reading Best Notes for the Grand Tour

A French Village, Under Occupation

Book review: One Day in France A history written in rich, lovely language (even in translation!) about the author’s interest in digging up information about the tragic events that took place on a single day in a French village, when German soldiers murdered several (likely) Resistance members and probably an additional person, a Jewish man who may or may not have been linked to the … Continue reading A French Village, Under Occupation

Olivia deHavilland On Paris

  Book review: Every Frenchman Has One A quick, fun and light collection of anecdotes with lots of vintage charm by the actress I knew best as Melanie from Gone with the Wind, but of course she’s legendary for way more than that. I had no idea she was a Parisian expat, was almost 100 years old, and had written a memoir. So basically I … Continue reading Olivia deHavilland On Paris

Let’s Buy a House in Aquitaine

Book review: Beginning French, by les Américains This book is adorable. I started reading having given myself permission to bail if it got obnoxious, self-important, or eye-rollingly insufferable (like rich people soul-searching and eating things abroad while gawking at local customs). I’ve started without finishing countless memoirs about the expat experience for these reasons, so I set my expectations low. Unnecessarily, as it turns out, because … Continue reading Let’s Buy a House in Aquitaine