Poignant, touching, and lively, this memoir of a woman who loses her mother and creates a new life for herself in Paris will speak to anyone who has lost a parent or reinvented themselves. Lisa Anselmo wrapped her entire life around her mother, a strong woman who was a defining force in her daughter’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 reaches for a lifeline in the form of an apartment in Paris, refusing to play it safe for the first time. What starts out as a lurching act of survival sets Lisa on a course that reshapes her life in ways she never could have imagined. But how can you imagine a life bigger than anything you’ve ever known?
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 holds out hope 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 this enjoyable, self-searching memoir, Anselmo embraces her fears and makes a decision that changes her life. Living in New York and working as a top creative director for Time Inc., she loved her job, which allowed her to travel to Paris regularly. But beneath the polished surface, Anselmo struggled for independence from a controlling mother whom she loved dearly yet who also inhibited her personal growth. When Anselmo's mother dies from breast cancer, she is shattered; in time, she begins to build a new life for herself. She purchases an apartment in a working class neighborhood of Paris and immerses herself in everyday Parisian life. When her apartment develops what initially seems to be a small leak, Anselmo finds herself caught up in the Byzantine French labor laws, yet the author persists in creating a new home for herself. She makes new friends, improves her French, and starts a blog. Anselmo writes intimately about her complex relationship with her mother and how her fears shaped her view of life. "It was time to stop waiting to live, and to just live. To liberate myself from perfection and put myself out there-flaws, pain, and all." In the end, this is a sweet and inspiring account of one woman's taxing yet rewarding search for peace, happiness, and contentment in the City of Light.
I Laughed and learned. Great read for those who love Paris.
After the death of her mother Lisa begins shedding a poor self-image brought about by a dysfunctional relationship with her mother. With only some knowledge of French (the fawfawfaws are hysterical) she makes some very brave decisions to buy and renovate an apartment in Paris, a city notorious for its onerous bureaucracy. Triumph after triumph she begins to see herself as others do, brave and spontaneous. She brings her characters and Paris to life. When the book is finished, you feel as though you've made a friend and could find your way around Paris. Loved the book and loved her story-telling.