Nikki's Reviews > Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris

Almost French by Sarah Turnbull
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Mar 20, 10

bookshelves: memoir-bio, travel, france, non-fiction, read-in-2010
Read from March 11 to 17, 2010

Much, much better than the last book I read on Paris. The differences were that, in the last one, most of the major issues facing the author were because of her own stupidity. This one, she goes more into the major cultural differences that she found in the way the French live. Even though she was Australian, you could definitely relate to the Anglo-Saxon mindset she went to France with, which seems the same whether you are American, English, Canadian, or Australian. The same differences were there, the same misunderstandings, the same surprise at certain aspects of French behavior. You could definitely relate. It made the cultural differences seem so vast!
My only complaint was not one of the book, but that the author lived there in the 90’s. I imagine that with the increasing globalization, internet connection, and younger generations, the cultural differences are probably much less pronounced than they were when she arrived. I definitely won’t be as surprised at something I find bizarre when I go there though! From the etiquette at dinner parties, to conversation faux pas, everything was really fascinating. It further helped that she did her best (with the aid of her French husband no doubt) to explain why the differences were there: a shared cultural past, social hierarchies left over from times past, how women and men perceive one another because of the way they grow up. All of it. Very fascinating. And on a extra note of cultural understanding, I thought it was very interesting how similar all Anglo Saxon cultures are.
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