The charming true story of a spirited young woman who finds adventure--and the love of her life--in Paris.
"This isn't like me. I'm not the sort of girl who crosses continents to meet up with a man she hardly knows. Paris hadn't even been part of my travel plan..."
A delightful, fresh twist on the travel memoir, Almost French takes us on a tour that is fraught with culture clashes but rife with deadpan humor. Sarah Turnbull's stint in Paris was only supposed to last a week. Chance had brought Sarah and Frédéric together in Bucharest, and on impulse she decided to take him up on his offer to visit him in the world's most romantic city. Sacrificing Vegemite for vichyssoise, the feisty Sydney journalist does her best to fit in, although her conversation, her laugh, and even her wardrobe advertise her foreigner status. But as she navigates the highs and lows of this strange new world, from life in a bustling quatier and surviving Parisian dinner parties to covering the haute couture fashion shows and discovering the hard way the paradoxes of France today, little by little Sarah falls under its spell: maddening, mysterious, and charged with that French specialty-séduction.
An entertaining tale of being a fish out of water, Almost French is an enthralling read as Sarah Turnbull leads us on a magical tour of this seductive place-and culture-that has captured her heart
A bestseller in Turnbull's native Australia, this cute firsthand look at the hardships of settling into a city infamously chilly to outsiders gives a glimpse of the true nature of Parisians and daily life in their gorgeous city. Though Turnbull tells readers less about love than new life, it was in falling for a Frenchman that the journalist found herself moving to Paris, for a few months that stretched into years. The cultural relationship is challenging enough, leaving aside the more intimate personal story (though readers do learn enough about Turnbull's now husband to understand her decision to stay), and she writes of finding work, making friends, surviving dinner parties and adapting to the rhythms and pace of life with a Parisian boyfriend with humor and a developing sense of wisdom. Of the struggle to adapt to her new home in the mid-1990s, the author writes, "I've discovered a million details that matter to me details that define me as non-French" no matter how much she tries to assimilate, while over time she grows to appreciate some perplexing aspects of French culture, as "veryday incidences elevate into moments of clarity simply because they would never, ever happen in your old home," from developing her confrontational side enough to defend herself (in French) from rude remarks to receiving advice from "a terribly chic blonde who advises me to use eye-makeup remover on Maddie's leaky eyes." This is an engaging, endearing view of the people and places of France.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Loved Sarah Turnbull's "Almost French"! Having lived in France with a French boyfriend, I completely related to her insights into the French culture. A terrific read that flowed beautifully. Enjoyed her writing style and story line. Will read the memoire again. Janice Lewis (author of Belvedere of the Var)
i loved the book. having lived in france from 1990 - 1994, sarah's recollection of her first and subsequent days in france amused me and made me nostalgic. Her descriptions of the fashion shows, the Rue Montorgueil markets and most everything were spot on. Loved spending a few hours in Sarah and Frederic's life!
Funny, a great read.