We'll Always Have Paris: Trying and Failing to Be French
As a bored, moody teenager, Emma Beddington came across a copy of French ELLE in the library of her austere Yorkshire school. As she turned the pages, full of philosophy, sex and lipstick, she realized that her life had one purpose and one purpose only: she needed to be French.
Instead of skulking in her bedroom listening to The Smiths or trudging to Betty's Tea Room to bu...more
This is a stunning memoir, written in Beddington's trademark comedy-to-tragedy-in-a-nanosecond style. ...more
Cities, family, friends, and cake share the stage stage in this memoir. Emma Beddington longs to be Parisien, but when she finally arrives, the city does not live up to her expectations. Often, the high point of her day is one of the many French pastries that are beautifully presented in patisserie windows.
This book examines the question of wha ...more
Something that struck me:
Often what comes up with people who have mov ...more
As a teenager, Beddington was something of a francophile; as an adult, partnered with a French man, she set out to live her dream of becoming a Parisienne. But this was in the wake of grief, and anyway the city of one's dreams is never really the city of one's reality. So then more moves, partly out of practical ...more
...and here's why.
This book just wasn't what I signed up for. The title suggests a romantic, dreamy memoir, set amongst the boulevards of chic Paris, and comedy - 'trying and failing to be french' definitely set my expectations high on that front; think... Dawn French goes to Paris hilarity. Even the blurb backs this assumption up, so I was very excited to pick this up and start reading.
It was not that. At all. It was dark, moody, and very British (i.e. not-very-parisien).
For the first ma ...more
It deals in a clear-eyed and affecting way with various aspects of growing up and finding your place in the world. It's about facing up to a reality which may not match your idealised fantasies (whether that's a much-dreamed-of city, or a marr ...more
Nevertheless, aside from the middle-class moan fest that it descends into ...more
We'll Always Have Paris is Beddington's memoir of a lifelong obsession with France featuring an astoundingly lot of patisserie, flan in particular of which I was of course was forced to try as all dedicated readers would!
This book frequently hit a little too close to home, making it a trying read at times, but I do think there ...more
Its not really about Paris. It is really a memoir about an English girl and the perilous journey of making a life and becoming an adult.
On occasion she is whiney, but aren't we all, and sometimes I get a bit fed-up with her apologetic-Englishness: where is the roll-up-your-sleeves-and-sort-it-out-ness that is ever present in so many of my English friends?
But she is charming and self-deprecating, (and often very enlightened a ...more