Almost French: A New Life in ParisPaperback
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- Publisher: NICHOLAS BREALEY PUBLISHING
- Format: Paperback | 328 pages
- Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 24mm | 299g
- Publication date: 26 May 2005
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 1857883705
- ISBN 13: 9781857883701
- Edition statement: New resized edition
- Sales rank: 5,411
A delightful new twist on the travel memoir, 'Almost French' takes readers on a tour fraught with culture clashes but rife with insight and deadpan humour - a charming true story of what happens when Sarah meets a very French Frenchman. Backpacking around Europe, twenty-something Sarah Turnbull meets Frederic and impulsively accepts his invitation to visit him for a week in Paris. Eight years later, she is still there - and married to him. The feisty Sydney journalist swaps vegemite for vichyssoise and all things French, but commits the fatal errors of bowling up to strangers at classy receptions, helping herself to champagne, laughing too loudly and (quelle horreur!) rushing out for a baguette in her 'pantalons de jogging'. But Paris' maddening, mysterious charm proves irresistible and Sarah makes spectacular progress. She finds work as a freelance journalist, learns to survive Parisian dinner parties and how to deal with grim-faced officialdom. As she navigates the highs and lows of Parisian life, covering the haute couture fashions shows and discovering the hard way the paradoxes of France today, Sarah succeeds in becoming 'almost French'.
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Despite having failed French in her first year at University, journalist Sarah Turnbull moved to France from Sydney in the mid 1990s. Her articles appear regularly in a variety of magazines such as 'Marie Claire', for which she is a contributing editor. She lives in Paris with her husband Frederic and their dog, Maddie.
By a Book Depository customer 10 Dec 2008
"As I read this book I felt more & more sad that Sarah's first impressions of the French was through the attitudes of the Parisians. As someone said to me, when we first moved to France "There is Paris and then there's France".
Situated as we are in "la France profonde" in a small village on the banks of the RhÃ????Ã????Ã????Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã??Ã?Â 'Ã????Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã??Ã?Â 'Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â´ne, I was rather concerned as to how the population would regard us - 1 Welsh & 1 English - & was quite bowled over by the warm & generous welcome we received. I asked my neighbours how they felt about having 2 Brits in their close-knit community & was amused by the reply that Brits were OK but, "if we had come from Paris, that would have been completely different!"
I found the book interesting & amusing, but please don't get the impression that this is how the French behave to all the Anglo-Saxons in their midst. If you make any effort to integrate, you will be received with open arms & lavish hospitality & you would certainly not find the horrible snobbishness & disdain which she found in the Parisiennes who she had the misfortune to meet. Maybe it's the climate, but I found the ProvenÃ????Ã????Ã????Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã??Ã?Â 'Ã????Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã??Ã?Â 'Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â§aux rumbustious, earthy & hilarious. Admittedly their sense of humour is rather more Benny Hill than Armando Ianucci, & most of them would not give a damn who poured the aperos - as long as there was plenty of it! Many's the time that I returned home after one of these events & wandered round the kitchen, wondering where I had last seen the cooker!
I hope that if there is going to be more of the same from Sarah, she takes the plunge & heads for the south - she will not be disappointed with the area around NÃ????Ã????Ã????Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã??Ã?Â 'Ã????Ã??Ã?Â¢?Ã??Ã?Â 'Ã????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â®mes, Arles & Avignon.
'A funny, heart-warming, romantic and poignant tale of fitting in... will appeal to the latest generation of Francophiles dreaming of starting a new life in France.' -Living France 'An entertaining tale of being a fish out of water in one of the most magical cities in the world.' -Everything France 'Turnbull pulls no punches when it comes to describing life among her new countrymen and is refreshingly direct about her own failings as perceived by the Parisians. Required reading for anyone contemplating a spot of French leave.' -Marie Claire 'Best, most seductive and funniest travel memoir this summer is Sarah Turnbull's 'Almost French', a novel twist on an Australian twenty-something back-packer's romantic liaison with a very French Frenchman and the howling differences in language, customs and expected behaviour.' -What's On in London