My (part-time) Paris Life

My (part-time) Paris Life

How Running Away Brought Me Home

Book - 2016 | First edition.
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Lisa Anselmo wrapped her entire life around her mother, a strong woman who was a defining force in Lisa's life--maybe too defining. When her mother dies from breast cancer, Lisa realizes she hadn't built a life of her own and struggles to find her purpose. Who is she without her mother--and her mother's expectations?

Desperate for answers, she turns to her favorite city--Paris--and impulsively buys a small apartment, refusing to play it safe for the first time. What starts out as an act of survival sets Lisa on a course that reshapes her life in ways she never could have imagined. Suddenly, she's living like a local in a city she thought she knew, but her high school French, while fine for buying bread at the corner boulangerie , goes only so far when Paris gives her a strong dose of real life. From dating to home ownership in a foreign country, Lisa quickly learns it's not all picnics on the Seine, and starts to doubt herself--and her love of the city. But she came to Paris to be happy, and she can't give up now. Isn't happiness worth fighting for?

In the vein of Eat, Pray, Love and Wild , My (Part-time) Paris Life a story is for anyone who's ever felt lost or hopeless, but still dreams of something more. This candid memoir explores one woman's search for peace and meaning, and how the ups and downs of expat life in Paris taught her to let go of fear, find self-worth, and create real, lasting happiness in the City of Light.

Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2016.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781250067470
Branch Call Number: 944.361084092 Ansel
Characteristics: 242 pages ; 22 cm

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wendybradley
Dec 23, 2017

Just a mention of a title like this one; just a hint of running away to Paris, and you have me grabbing hold of the book. Like so many people, I have had the dream of running away to another city, and especially romantic cities, and especially Paris.

I did run away. I ran away to London, and still return every year for at least two months. This author seems to think a number of long weekends and one two month stay constitutes a Paris Life (even if she does qualify this title with (Part-Time). I beg to differ. There are many many books written by those who truly take the plunge to live full time, long term in places other than their own countries and cities.

The descriptions of building this very part-time life in Paris, is painted against her inward journey dealing with the death of her mother and reminiscences of her early life. I find Americans writing about their working life quite difficult to identify with. So often it seems they are totally driven by work. Perhaps this is so, and perhaps it is those who choose to write about it who are like that. Removing work from this author certainly seems to have forced her to deal with unresolved issues in life she did not have time to deal with before.

I appreciate the way she is honest about the long planned, and partly disappointing long visit where not only does she find her flat is fast becoming a ruin, uncertainty about life, money and work, and the worst summer Paris has seen for years, means she has a struggle to enjoy herself. We are left with the impression he will return on a more permanent basis. She is certainly setting us up for part 2 of her chronicle. A so-so read.

ChristchurchLib Jan 08, 2017

Manhattan creative director Lisa Anselmo was very close to her strong-willed mother -- like, codependent-close. So when her mother passed away, Anselmo was devastated and adrift. Searching for a reason to get out of bed in the morning, she started researching Paris homes for sale, just for fun. Before too many months had passed, and despite being someone who plays it safe, she had bought a Paris apartment, where she planned to live for part of each year. Describing her new life in Paris (and all the joys and troubles of home ownership in an unfamiliar place) as well as her search for a happy life, this memoir offers readers who enjoy soul-searching books an engaging Parisian get-away.

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