Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Buying a Piece of Paris” as Want to Read:
Buying a Piece of Paris
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Buying a Piece of Paris

3.14  ·  Rating details ·  181 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Paris has seduced many admirers, but for visiting Australian Ellie Nielsen it's true love. So deep is her infatuation that, if she can't have it all to herself, she'll only be satisfied with buying her own little piece of Paris.

The object of her desire seems so simple: the sort of apartment she's seen a thousand times in magazines and books. Something effortlessly charming
Paperback, 248 pages
Published 2007 by Scribe, Melbourne
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Buying a Piece of Paris, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Buying a Piece of Paris

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 11, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
I enjoyed the taste of Paris with this book, but I wasn't ever totally sold on an entire book about real estate, even when paired with the many truly Parisian experiences that the book touched on. As humorous as Nielson was at times, she got annoying with her flippancy and the way she made drama out of absolutely everything. (Mon dieu! The railing is blue! How can that be?!?) Honestly. It was overall a cute book, though, but one I would not have spent my time on had it not been recommended. Desp ...more
Aug 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Could have done without it. Cover is the best part!
Jul 27, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was ok. I'll keep it for my library, but nothing I'd re-read. Loved the cover art...but just an ok book for me.
Stacey Peters
Apr 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: travel
I love Paris. It is a truly remarkable city, so I understand the author's fixation with owning a piece real estate in the City of Light. She comes face to face with the patronizing nature of French Real estate agencies who only show her apartments no fashionable French person would set foot in, let alone purchase, subjected to inpromptu french lessons from everyone she comes in contact with from waiters to florists and, finally pushy 'won't take no for an answer' realtors. Imagine that, wanting ...more
Ellie and her husband Jack are looking to buy an apartment in Paris as a vacation home. They're from Melbourne Australia.

Nielsen takes us through the entire two-week process, every minute and tedious detail. The conversations in French were not translated most of the time, which I found highly annoying. Characters were thrown in without any explanation of their relationship to the writer. I kept feeling like an interloper in a stranger's dull conversation. If she'd been telling me this story I w
Sep 18, 2010 rated it it was ok
This was a fast, breezy read - I think I read the whole thing in under two hours. No big surprises or even conflicts, but I enjoyed the process - anyone who has tried to negotiate the red tape of French bureaucracy will find this book very true to life.

I see others have commented about not liking that the French isn't translated - I actually really liked that. (And I didn't think the French was so prevalent or essential that you couldn't just skip it if you couldn't read it.)

I had a bit of a jaw
Ellie Nielsen, an Australian, writes about her two week quest to buy the quintessential Parisian apartment. She has difficulty describing it (charming? full of character?) but is sure she'll know it as soon as she crosses the threshold. This is usually my kind of vicarious read but instead I found myself feeling ever so slightly annoyed since it sometimes seemed as if writing the book was actually the real reason for buying the apartment. Still, I found the glimpses of the Parisian real estate m ...more
Mar 29, 2012 rated it liked it

This was a charming book. It was a humorous story of how Ellie Nielsen buys an apartment in Paris and all the ups and downs of the purchase. It was exhausting and exhilerating reading about her adventure. I have always wanted to buy and apartment in Paris also, but think I will just stick to RENTING an apartment when I visit. It was fun to read about her struggling with her French in order to communicate with the real estate agents (although she was pretty well versed) and she described each apa
May 05, 2009 added it
It was a walk down memory lane..2 summers ago when i took our 16 year old daughter to Paris to visit with our Australian friends....oh was great..I wonder if Danielle knows Ellie, as they are both from Melbourne. A quick read and oh so entertaining..especially with a good glass of wine..or two. I happened upon this on the recent acquisition shelf at our local library. What a surprise. Loved It...
Erica Leigh
I came across this book a couple of years ago in a museum shop, but did not pick it up – the premise stayed with me, however, and I finally went searching for the book to satisfy my curiosity – and I am glad that I did. An easy and pleasant read, the story of a family’s search for the perfect apartment in Paris was in turns entertaining and charming. Though the book ended with the purchase, I certainly hope they have been happy living in their little piece of Paris.
Jul 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
Ellie's story is so much fun! No, there are no literary prizes being awarded here (I doubt that Nielsen is operates under any false pretentions) but for sheer Francophilian pleasure, don't overlook this one. Nielson graciously wears her uncomplicated, Australian heart of her sleeve, and delivers her observations in a highly readable fashion. I had a lovely time accompanying Ellie on her hunt for the perfect piece of Paris.
Sep 01, 2010 rated it it was ok
Blerg. I appreciate that it's totally autobiographical, and that she ended up getting what she set out to do. SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER! (Sorry. Are you trying to tell me you couldn't tell that she'd get it, just by looking at the cover?) I appreciate the passion and drive, but it was kinda tedious.

I picked this up at the library, only because it was on the counter (having just been returned) and the other book I was taking out was non-fiction and much less entertain-y.

Mar 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Delightful - but I am a travel memoir junkie. This young Australian couple apparently inherited a boatload of money from the author's mother and search for a pied a terre to call their own in Paris. A fun read and I would be insanely jealous if Ellie didn't seem like a nice sort and not spoiled by her good fortune. This is a short, fast read - and as satisfying as a cafe creme with pain au chocolat.
Ok, she has tons of money and is able to buy a nice apartment which she can only visit rarely. This is the kind of person who makes Paris so expensive for people who live there. It was an annoying book. That said, having real estate shopped myself abroad, it was interesting to see how different things are from country to country.
Jun 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like reading anything about Europe, so the title caught my attention. I have always thought it would be fun to like in France. However, listening to this book and also watching House Hunters International on HGTV, I am not sure my dreams of living in another country will match any reality I would find! A few hundred thousand doesn't get you much real estate in Paris.
Maureen Mclelland
Feb 04, 2014 rated it liked it
As someone who will be travelling to Paris in a few weeks, I appreciated reading about the city from an outsider who is desperate to become an insider. The tale of a pretty fortunate/ entitled Australian who is trying to find the perfect apartment. The book provides great glimpses of the Paris attitude and so many funny little vignettes of life in the city of love.
What a lovely way to travel on long motorways and highways. Listening to this book was charming. Although getting out of the car in Rotorua and trying to remember to speak English and not French was a small challenge.
Rosie Beck
Feb 14, 2009 rated it liked it
The adventures and mishaps of an Australian woman and her husband as they search for a Parisian apartment to call their own. You must know some French as it is sprinkled throughout with no translations.Charming and funny.
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
What a wonderful, amazing, incredible story! It's so inspiring to hear of other people's travels & exploits abroad. I discovered a few things about France, Paris in particular, that I never knew. It was also great to practice some of my long lost French!
Cindy May
I liked it, but felt at a disadvantage not knowing French since that slowed me down quite a lot stumbling over all the various phrases exchanged between the Australians and the Parisians. For this reason I will probably not keep the book as I don't see me rereading it.
Aug 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
An Australian woman embarks on a plan to buy an apt in Paris. I loved it. I love most books about adapting to life in France; this was no exception. I will be dropping it off for you Elisabeth but I am waiting to finish another book I am currently reading which I also expect you will love.
If real estate in Paris is an interest to you, this book might be interesting. I found the book to be a bit tedious since it over-emphasized the process of apartment hunting in Paris. Photos would have been another enhancement to the book.
Tamara Catlin
Jan 25, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this.... Trying to read lots about France before the trip.... Plus I always enjoy reading about houses..... Light but fun
Dec 28, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: I wouldn't.
Recommended to Relyn by: I can't remember.
Shelves: memoir
YEESH what a boring book!! Want to buy an apartment in Paris. Blah, blah, blah, blah... Should I buy this one? Blah, blah, blah... Oh look - we bought one. Spare me!
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this - just like being there in Paris.
Casey McNeill
Apr 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
So far this is soooooooooooooo good! :)
Christine Brennen-leigh
Makes you want to go out and buy your own piece of Paris.
Aug 08, 2008 rated it liked it
I loved it! It was fun reading about the author's love affair with Paris, struggles with the language and culture, and fantasy of owning her own little piece of the city of light.
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It was about 2.5 stars. Ok, not awesome, but ok.
Jan 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me want to get on a plane and head to Paris. Ellie Nielsen writes just like I would envision myself buying an apartment in my dream city!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Spanish Lessons: Beginning a New Life in Spain
  • Pretty Woman Spitting: An American's Travels in China
  • A Carpet Ride to Khiva: Seven Years on the Silk Road
  • Apologies to My Censor: The High and Low Adventures of a Foreigner in China
  • Off The Rails
  • Paris, Baby!
  • Sara Snow's Fresh Living: The Essential Room-by-Room Guide to a Greener, Healthier Family and Home
  • Gene Kelly: A Life of Dance and Dreams
  • The Rough Guide to Conspiracy Theories 1
  • Home is a Roof Over a Pig: An American Family's Journey in China
  • Meeting Mr Kim: Or How I Went to Korea and Learned to Love Kimchi
  • True Pleasures: A Memoir of Women in Paris
  • Jumbo: This Being the True Story of the Greatest Elephant in the World
  • Ant Egg Soup: The Adventures of a Food Tourist in Laos
  • Charles Dickens and the Great Theatre of the World
  • Clear Waters Rising: A Mountain Walk Across Europe
  • Big in China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising a Family, Playing the Blues, and Becoming a Star in Beijing
  • Sleeping Around: A Couch Surfing Tour Of The Globe

Share This Book