Saturday, August 12, 2006

c'est dommage

Oh! I wrote this the other day & forgot to post it:


TITLE: Weekend in Paris
AUTHOR: Robyn Sisman

Ah, this book had such potential as a fun romp through Paris. But I had problems with it: such as that it was clearly totally unbelievable that the main character Molly could have simply "brushed up" on some high school French & then help the conversations that she did. Believe me, it is not that easy to speak fluently in French when it's your second language, even after 8 years of semi-serious study! Heh. That suspension-of-disbelief probably normally wouldn't have bothered me, but it really got to me this time because I worked hard studying French & was still barely able to speak passably. Bah.

The book was fun & quick & I dunno cute enough, but I guess I have higher standards for my "chick lit" (as oxymoronish as that sounds...). Clearly the author also felt she had "higher standards" because she kept making sure that the reader knew that her protagonist was a well-educated & literate (and thus strong & independent) woman. I mean I like the ideas, but I felt like she was just trying to shove it down the reader's throat, that a girl can be smart & silly & innocent, and the world can still fall at her feet. Okay, heard that a million times in many of the same ways. The formula for this story was pretty predictable, and it didn't do much to redeem itself in terms of really catchy characters (although I did like the Australian friend).

I do have to admit that I did swoon a bit while reading this book, though, but it wasn't because of the "sexy French hunk" that Molly falls for. It was rather the places they went -- I so miss Paris. I was especially ecstatic to read about their visit to the Rodin Museum -- they sat in the exact same bench as I did, admiring the view facing the back of the building! Okay, okay, so I know, the museum isn't that large, and that bench is probably pretty well known by anyone who visits there, but still. It brought back amazing memories of visiting the museum and pausing to sit alone on the bench and contemplate the grounds as I tried to decide where I would go next (which, I believe, was a failed attempt to locate a film museum near the Eiffel Tower). I especially hold those memories dear because it was me against the Big Bad Foreign City (I spent the day wandering around alone, because Alexei was unfortunately unavailable, and my visit to Robyn in London didn't get to happen), and I felt so much more confident with my ability to get by even after that single day. Upon my return to Nancy (where I was living), I am sure I lost some of that confidence in the day-to-day necessary French interactions, but still. I think it was a notable time, for me.

Okay, I've let this book review devolve into a nostalgia party, so I'll just say this: I don't really recommend it, even to those who do like France (oh & by the way, I'm pretty sure there were some errors with the book's French) & chick lit. It just wasn't really worth the time. Although as a light beach read it might have been fun, because it required very little focus (and had a fun enough story).

I dunno. I could take it or leave it. So, make your own decision! xoxo

1 comment:

Christine said...

Oh, I wish I could go to France. I've only ever been to Canada, and I was five then.