Monday, July 16, 2012

Paris, My Sweet: A Year In The City Of Light (And Dark Chocolate) by Amy Thomas

About book:

Forever a girl obsessed with all things French, sweet freak Amy Thomas landed a gig as rich as the purest dark chocolate:  leave Manhattan for Paris to write ad copy for Louis Vuitton.  Working on the Champ-Elysees, strolling the charming streets, and exploring the best patisseries and boulangeries, Amy marveled at the magnificence of the City of Light.

But does falling in love with one city mean turning your back on another?  As much as Amy adored Paris, there was a part of her that felt like a humble chocolate chip cookie in a sea of pristine macarons.  Paris, My Sweet explores how the search for happiness can be as fleeting as a salted caramel souffle's rise, as intensely satisfying as molten chocolate cake, and about how the life you're meant to live doesn't always taste like the one you envisioned.

Part love letter to Paris, part love letter to New York, and total devotion to all things sweet, Paris, My Sweet is a treasure map for anyone with a hunger for life.

My thoughts:

I am craving macarons (I always thought it was spelled macaroons), chocolate croissants, and hot chocolate.  And, I'm wishing that I were writing ad copy for Louis Vuitton and living in Paris.  Then again, who wouldn't? Talk about a dream job in a dream city! Well, it was reality for Sweet Freak blogger, Amy Thomas, the author of this delectable memoir titled, Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate)

Amy's in her thirties and living it up in NYC - she writes a blog devoted to sweets (her passion!) and works hard and plays hard.  Overall, life is good.  Except, Amy feels as if something is missing and she decides a change must be made.  Hmmm. I'm thinking that fate was on her side, because she soon finds herself with the offer of a lifetime - work at Louis Vuitton in Paris (her favorite city - besides NYC).  Gee, I wonder what she decided?  With bags packed and a fresh outlook on her upcoming adventure in the City of Light, Amy heads out ready to live it up Parisian-style.  Visions of yummy desserts dance in her head, along with the idea of some handsome Frenchman becoming more than her friend - life is Paris is going to be sweet!  Oh, if only reality wouldn't rear its ugly head into Amy's rose-colored dreams.  You see, Amy may be enjoying all the good food, but she's not enjoying eating it all alone.  Yep, its not as easy as Amy had thought it would be to make friends or boyfriends in Paris - ugh!  Instead, Amy bikes around town on her own, winds up feeling overworked, and misses her life in NYC dearly.  So, a trip to the Big Apple is in order.  Except, once she's there, things don't go exactly as she planned.  Instead of fun nights out with her friends, she finds herself feeling disconnected from everyone - they all seem to be coupling up, while she's been away.  Everyone seems so happy and Amy just isn't feel that happy.  Hmmm. Perhaps, Paris isn't the problem, nor is NYC - maybe Amy just needs to figure some things out.

And so she does.  Back in Paris, Amy starts to make some changes and soon enough, she is befriending some pretty cool people, winning an award for her work, and contemplating staying in Paris for another six months.  What to do?  Well, I won't tell you what Amy decides, but suffice it to say, she was happy with her decision. 

In this engaging memoir, we read all about Paris, delicious sweets, NYC and a woman's journey to self-discovery.  Each chapter is devoted to a specific dessert and details where to get said sweet at the end of the chapter (in Paris and NYC).  In fact, the book has a map of NYC and Paris hot spots - meaning the places to get the desserts Amy mentioned - because let me tell you, she is specific about the details of what the dessert tasted like and where she found it.  There's a key at the end that provides the addresses to these hot spots on her maps.  Pretty useful, eh?  And, just so you know, it wasn't just the desserts that had me enjoying the book, it was also Amy's story.  When she starts thinking about her future and whether it will include a husband or children, it made me think about my own future.  I liked how relatable Amy was and how much I identified with some of her issues - definitely made me connect with the book more.  Of course, when she was in an elevator with Marc Jacobs in Paris, I wasn't exactly relating to her so much as I was just plain jealous!  Paris, My Sweet left me feeling happy and excited for Amy.  It also made me curious about her blog, Sweet Freak - so I checked it out and loved it!  Then again, who wouldn't love a site devoted to yummy food that is filled with pictures of the food - delicious!  Check it out - Sweet Freak

Paris, My Sweet was the perfect read for Karen and Tamara's Paris in July challenge - it had Paris all over its pages (which I loved!). 

And now I'm off to check out all the other Paris in July posts from this past week. 


Ti said...

A memoir, huh? At first I thought it was a novel!

Caroline said...

This sounds very nice for many reasons. i like stories about people finding their way, making sense of their life and of course I love Paris. I can imagine it's not too easy to be accepted by Parisians when French isn't your mother tongue. It can be a pretty unwelcoming sity.

Nadia said...

Ti, its a memoir. Its crazy, because when I first picked it up I thought it was a novel, too. LOL!

Caroline, it was definitely a nice read, because it was so relatable. I've heard that Paris can be unwelcoming, so I can understand her frustrations and hurt feelings. Definitely a good read and it does make me want to head to the City of Light at some point.

Wendy Smith said...

I have to say that I love reading your posts, and while I cannot read everything you read, you make me want to read what you have read. Keep reading and posting!

Nadia said...

Wendy, thanks so much! I really appreciate your comment - made me smile ;) And it made me happy I blog - thanks!

Amanda said...

Aww I love the Paris in July bloggy stuff! I wasn't able to participate this year but I love reading the posts. This one sounds perfect!

Nadia said...

Amanda, its so much fun reading the Paris in July blogs, isn't? I'm loving it even more this year. Sorry you couldn't participate this year, but there is always next year - hopefully you can join in then :) Thanks for stopping by!