Wednesday, 28 August 2019

BLOG TOUR: A Stranger in Paris (A French Life #1) - Karen Webb


The first in a three-part memoir exposing the darker side of French culture, a brilliantly funny and poignant study of French life that begins when a young graduate makes a spontaneous decision to follow the man she loves to Paris. He is, however, nowhere to be found ... Now a penniless singleton she must work in order to survive. With only a smattering of French she begins a new life. 

'A Stranger in Paris' follows Karen in her formative years as she searches for friends, family, and love. A portrayal of French life from the inside by a narrator who has seen the various echelons of French society from rich to poor, from the capital city to the rural South West.


What did I think?

I'm not a naturally nosy person so I'm not a huge fan of memoirs, of famous people or otherwise, but something drew me to A Stranger in Paris.  Perhaps it was the romance of Karen following her lover across the Channel (after all Paris is the home of romance) or her bravery at starting a new life without a penny in her pocket; whatever it was, I'm so pleased that I found this book.  It was with a slight element of trepidation that I embarked on Karen's story, as I feared that it would be a bit like looking at somebody's holiday photos and there wouldn't be enough to keep me interested, but I'm delighted to say that I couldn't have been more wrong.  I actually didn't want the story to end and, as it's the first in a trilogy, I know the story isn't over and I can't wait to read more of Karen's story.

Of course you can tell by the synopsis that this isn't going to be a romantic and soppy love story; I thought Karen was crazy to leave her home in Wales and follow David to Paris after he had broken up with her.  Forget about him and get on with your life, I shouted, but everything happens for a reason so Karen finds herself penniless in Paris and unable to locate David.  If she had found him, I dread to think what that story would have turned out like.  I loved her determination and resourcefulness as she takes a job as a very low paid au pair and this is when Karen's humour really shines through her writing.  I'm laughing now just thinking about the wash mitt.

Karen's writing is both accomplished and effervescent; A Stranger in Paris is as sparkling as a glass of champagne sipped on the banks of the Seine.  Her stories are interesting to start with but her amazing sense of humour makes them unforgettable.  You can keep your celebrity memoirs, thank you very much, Karen Webb's story is SO much better!

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:


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