There are no words to express how much I tried to like this book, even enough to finish it. The writing is actually quite good, but the story--if I can even call it a story--was dry and tiresome. This book is annoyingly pretentious, and that more than anything else has made it impossible to get through. There are much better stories about France. I began reading "Paris to the Moon" to gain a little insight into the essence of Paris, but this book does not even come close.