Wednesday, September 23, 2009

La France, vous me manquez

Just finished Almost French by Sarah Turnbull. I can relate so well to the memoir of being an outsider in France (although in Lyon, not Paris) and feeling clueless as to why the French would stare in the street if I laughed too loud, or talked too much, or didn't iron my jeans.

Turnbull's experiences, to be sure, are uniquely hers, as she moves through a relationship with a Frenchman that ultimately leads to marriage. But anyone who has marveled at French women's relationship with their tiny dogs, dinner parties where people talk endlessly about esoteric topics and don't care who you are, why clochards are part of the national brick and mortar, and how bureaucratic red tape is enough to make even the most patient Francophone lose their cool will enjoy Turnbull's memoir. It makes me want to return to France; yet at the same time, I thank my stars I'm not navigating cool Parisian social customs on a daily basis.

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