In Paris for a weekend visit, Elizabeth Bard sat down to lunch with a handsome Frenchman - and never went home again.
Was it love at first sight? Or was it the way her knife slid effortlessly through her pavé au poivre, the steak's pink juices puddling into the buttery pepper sauce? Lunch in Paris is a memoir about a young American woman caught up in two passionate love affairs - one with her new beau, Gwendal, the other with French cuisine.
Packing her bags for a new life in the world's most romantic city, Elizabeth is plunged into a world of bustling open-air markets, hipster bistros, and size 2 femmes fatales. She learns to gut her first fish (with a little help from Jane Austen), soothes pangs of homesickness (with the rise of a chocolate soufflé), and develops a crush on her local butcher (who bears a striking resemblance to Matt Dillon). Elizabeth finds that the deeper she immerses herself in the world of French cuisine, the more Paris itself begins to translate. French culture, she discovers, is not unlike a well-ripened cheese: there may be a crusty exterior, until you cut through to the melting, piquant heart.
Peppered with mouth-watering recipes for summer ratatouille, swordfish tartare, and molten chocolate cakes, Lunch in Paris is a story of falling in love, redefining success, and discovering what it truly means to be at home.
In the delicious tradition of memoirs like A Year in Provence and Under the Tuscan Sun, this book is the perfect treat for anyone who has dreamed that lunch in Paris could change their life.
"She pleasantly details her joys and obstacles . . . provides poignant revelations about cultural differences. . . . A cozy, touching story." (Kirkus)
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Lunch in Paris? I'll wait until dinner...
This book is not terrible, along the same lines as Eat, Pray, Love, without the divorce drama. Not a lot happens (at least up to Chapter 8), but it is a sweet story, kind of like reading a chick flick. The problem I had was the narrator. It was like listening to a kindergarten teacher reading your journal to her class. I think I will read this the old fashioned way instead.
Didn't make it to the end.
An Afternoon in Paris
Lunch in Paris is a lovely stroll through Paris with markets, food and a little romance. A nice afternoon read.
- S. G. Schadowsky