Customer Reviews for

Return to Paris

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted November 20, 2010

    A Cookbook With a Story

    Colette Rossant's memoir was beautifully written with colorful diction and descriptions that just left a reader's mouth watering. This book describes her life beginning from when she moved back to her hometown Paris after World War II. It's about the hardships she faces: Dealing with a mother who left her for several years; living under a stern grandmother's roof; and other experiences that girls will meet every day. What sets this story from others is that the author's one passion is food. Throughout the book, she includes detailed descriptions about the singular meals that she has eaten while living in Paris. Also, the reader bonds with her when she deals with her difficulties in moving from one country to the next, and her multiple suitors before she finally marries her husband James, their marriage proving to be scandalous to her family's good name. This book made a great impact on me because some of Colette's problems are still relatable today. Every person struggles with their parents (or grandparents), and finding a common ground is difficult. Colette Rossant is so easy to relate to, especially when she explains how hard it is for her to love her family. The issues that also arise with her suitors are a humorous yet effective way to address the fact that love will come even when one isn't looking for it. Although the memoir revolves around food, the most important part is when Colette finds her soulmate, her stepfather Mira. "Years later, when Jimmy, my American fiancee, came for me in Paris, the only person who greeted him with open arms was my stepfather" (Rossant, 97). Throughout the book, Colette had been trying to find a family member who would accept her for who she was; Mira not only accepted her but also embraced her and loved her. Only after she meets Mira does the story progress forward toward a happy ending. This memoir was a wonderful read because it is a heartfelt story that is about youth, growing up, love, and food. However, at numerous times the book's recipies and descriptions of food becomes quite extensive. Don't read the book if you do not appreciate food much at all. But if you enjoy cooking and/or eating food, this book is perfect to read with a light snack nearby. If you liked Return to Paris, another great read about a story of a young girl adjusting to new surroundings and experiencing great change is the Diary of Anne Frank. Both of these books are exceptional.

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