Well-written, poignant, and romantic. Each chapter comes with a few recipes, most of which feature in the story. I loved it all.
Elizabeth Bard met her Frenchman at a conference, and later met up with him in Paris. On their first date, she slept with him before dessert. Thus begins Lunch in Paris, a beautiful story of romance, Paris, growing up and learning how to be an adult.
And, of course, there’s the food. All the glorious food. Each chapter comes with a few recipes, most of which have been described as part of the story.
And I really loved the romance:
I arrived in Paris in the beginning of April, just as the song instructs.
I tapped the code into the keypad outside, and the blue door made its characteristic click. My suitcases were wider than the spiral stairwell, but we managed to twist and turn them up to the second floor. Gwendal had already made me a key, and when I opened the door, the apartment was spotless. There were roses on the table and yellow index cards suspended from the ceiling with pieces of string. They fluttered like bright birds in the breeze from the hallway.
Each card described what we would do in a particular place, some of it innocent, much of it not. There was one above the stereo: This is where we will dance. One near the couch: this is where you will distract me while I read. One in the shower… There was one on the refrigerator, held up with a magnet like a Chinese take out menu: Amour, baisers, tendresse-livraison 24h/24-7j/7. Love, kisses and tenderness delivered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. My refrigerator, my new life.
Paris in itself was a character in this books, the tiny streets, narrow staircases leading up to apartments with beautiful views, the markets filled with vegetables. The fact that I loved this book so much, is a somewhat ironic because I hate Paris. No matter what time of year. As a teenager our visit to France was marred by snobby French people who were not very nice to Asian tourists. (It was the 90s.) Ever since, despite my many opportunities to go back I refuse to, simply because I don’t want to give those snobby Frenchmen my money. This book made me want to go back. And not just go back but stay for a while and eat my way through Paris, never mind the locals.
Yay or nay?
I loved this book. I have been recommending this to everyone I know. It’s well-written, poignant, and I could definitely relate to the author’s what-am-I-meant-to-do-with-my-life-now/how-to-be-a-grown-up conundrum. I also became enraptured with the food and the process of getting it to the plate—from the markets, the cooking, the socialising. I loved it all.
Title: Lunch in Paris: A Delicious Love Story, with Recipes (excerpt)
Author: Elizabeth Bard
C format: 9780732288785 (1/2/2010)
US: 9780316042789 (2/2011)
UK: 9781849531542 (4/7/2011)
Where you can buy this book
AUSTRALIA: Booktopia | Fishpond | Pages & Pages | Readings | Shearers | Click here for more bookshops
EBOOKS: Not available
WORLDWIDE: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository | Or check your local library