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Posted June 28, 2005
This was surprisingly interesting. I really enjoyed reading about the difference between the two cultures and how the author struggled to become more Parisian while still keep her own identity. The book is very informative about human nature in general and how important our nationalities are in forming out personality, opinions and ideas about everything from food to clothes and pretty much shaping us into the people that we are.
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Posted April 27, 2014
Posted April 17, 2013
Loved it. I found myself falling in love with Paris. The culture of France is really explored in here and you can't help but root for the author. I was really surprised at how much I enjoyed this memoir.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 18, 2013
If you are trying to adjust to living in a new culture, this book is for you! Ms. Turnbull, who fell in love and moved to Paris as a result, shares her experiences in a lighthearted and loving way. After being baffled, hurt, shocked, frustrated and sometimes angered, she finally reaches a point where she appreciates and understands (to a point) her newly adopted culture. One comes away feeling enriched and informed by her experience. There are many aspects of culture we all take for granted; reading this book will change that.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 15, 2012
In hindsight, she discovers she has warmed to her host country. She came across to me as a spoiled 20-something, shocked that this new country/coulture was not accepting to her "differences". She is pleased ? that as an Aussie she is more accepted than if she were an American. The reader then learns through the trials of her story she was born in the USA! (one must shudder!)
At first she whines, "I want to live in Paris", "I don't want to spend the weekend in the country". Only later, she learns to appreciate the country. And "why" does her boyfriend have to be from the "North" While I wonder, HOW could this man tolerate her?
She is encouraged by "change" to the Paris, in government and culture. Personally, I visit 'strange' places to enjoy the difference. WHO would want Paris, of all places to change?
As much as I wanted to enjoy a love story in Paris, I was disappointed.
Posted August 5, 2012
Posted August 1, 2010
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Almost French by Sarah Turnbull is a memoir about the Australian author's time in Paris as she falls in love, learns the culture (or tries to fit in), and tries to get consistent work as a journalist. Perhaps it was because it was a travel memoir and fitting in that I thought so often of Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, but within pages it held a completely separate voice for me.
Sarah Turnbull has taken time off from her job in Australia to travel Europe -- she figures that she might as well do it now since she can afford to take the time and she has no commitments -- after all, why wait until much later in life when work and family obligations might get in the way? Off she goes to Europe, and while in Bucharest, she meets Frèdèric, and decides to do something different than she's ever done before and completely change her plans -- go to Paris to stay with a guy that she only met for a few days in Bucharest. Throwing caution to the wind she goes -- and settles into Paris and tries to find her place within the culture and the job market.
This book is a hit in Australia and it was definitely a really pleasant read. I enjoyed her moments of confusion in trying to understand fashion and language, and there is one particular moment that I spluttered my coffee out with laughter for my combined shock and for feeling the author's complete embarrassment -- a simple moment in which she asks her new boyfriend in front of his friends if he would like his smoking pipe, when she mistakenly really asked him if he, ahem...would like something, um, sexual to occur. Made me laugh out loud!I felt for her trying to fit in and get used to it all, and as I've traveled quite a bit in my life and lived in multiple locations, I felt my understanding and my frustrations for her experiences grow as I read each page. It's tough to fit in sometimes!
The only aspect that found me a little wanting was that I felt she wrote with such great detail on so many events and moments, but she skipped quite a bit on the love she had with Frèdèric which was the ultimate reason which compelled her to move to Paris in the first place. Perhaps it was out of respect for their intimacies (completely understandable) and perhaps I'm just an old romantic at heart, but I felt a tad removed from the blossoming love that they experienced within their relationship that would so compel this grounded and logical woman to completely forgo her plan to travel all of Europe and instead, after one week of meeting with a man, to move instead to Paris to begin life anew.
Sarah Turnbull's descriptions of Parisian life, the eccentric characters she meets in a new neighborhood, and her ability (or lack thereof) to fit in fashionably at first, were quite endearing and offered a fun snapshot into her life. I cheered for her to find the right job, and enjoyed her journalistic cadence as Turnbull related each event with sometimes a distant voice and sometimes with close up scrutiny, one that ultimately turns into quite a fun trip into Parisian culture!
I enjoyed Almost French because of my few trips to France, a friend's love of all things French, and because it gives a great insight into a person living in France as their homw while not being a native. The French are a very reserved people with centuries of ingrown reserve. This is a light book with what could have been a sad, but instead, a happy ending.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I loved the way she was able to be ambarrassed at herself - her lack of understanding the Parisians and the French. And, I appreciated that she interjected some French history without getting so weighted down. She gives descriptions of the areas of Paris in such prose it is like seeing a painting. She also shows her personal growth in how to deal with such a different culture than she was used to. She does not go for slap-stick humor, however she made me laugh out loud over several passages. The book gave me such insight that I wish I could have read it BEFORE our Paris trip. we were lucky - we'd planned our trip for April; even whenevery one said 'oh, surely, you will cancel your trip now that 9/11 has happened....'. The French were wonderful - some compassion for what happened in New York but I think an awful lot of 'ha, you americans are not so indefensible as you thought'. Considering her age, I was surprised at her not interjecting a lot of sex into the book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
I just finished reading Almost French by Sarah Turnbull. I truly enjoyed this true story so much. As someone who loves learning about other cultures this book completely grabbed my attention. I loved hearing all of the stories of how Sarah became "Almost French." Although I am quite familiar with the French culture, having not yet visited France itself, this book opened my eyes to many things within the life of the Parisians I would never know by being a tourist. If you are someone who loves to hear about what life is really like in other cultures, particularly in the French culture, you will absolutely love Almost French.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 28, 2009
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It probably was much more fun to live this book. I enjoyed the first half of the book just fine, and it kind of got a little boring in the middle but picked up again in the last few chapters. I was tempted to skim over pages of food description as that stuff doesn't appeal to me.
I like that Frederic is a constant throughout the book. I was worried he would get lost in there, but Sarah stuck true to the book's title. I would have liked to have read more intimate details about him and their relationship rather than just the tidbits of conversation and discussion about the French and their ways. I'm glad she talked about their wedding. I was worried she would leave that out. That was the best part of the book, and it was sweet.
Two things that bothered me about the author's writing style: The first, she seemed a bit inconsistent, she was all over the place in some chapters skipping around to different subjects without good flow or transition. Second is the fact that she used the word "Gallic" quite alot. I was like, enough with Gallic already. I must have seen it on every other page sometimes. Her writing style isn't the best, but she did what she set out to do and told us a story of her love and new life in Paris. And she definitely made me want to visit...and get a dog. ;o)
Posted May 7, 2007
I enjoyed this book, but like many of the other readers who submitted reviews, I was very disappointed in the lack of any information whatsover regarding Sarah's relationship with Fredrique. The book begins with Sarah waiting for Fredrique at the airport. She then describes meeting him and about how he asked her to come to Paris. This confused me, however, because we never find out how, why or even if they fell in love right away. I would never move to a foreign country to be with a man who seems like just a 'friend', which is the way she describes him in this book. Only when she provides a brief description of their wedding is there any hint at romance, and even that is practically non-existant, except for hand-holding! In all fairness, though, Sarah has done a wonderful job of taking her personal memories of moving to France and presenting it as though it were a fiction novel. It's entertaining for the most part. Although there are several parts which were painfully boring 'like the endless dinner parties they attended... don't the French do anything else?', there were equal parts that were interesting. After reading this book, I now have a little better knowledge of what to expect when I am finally able to visit Paris in the future. Sarah has given me new insight into this seemingly amazing city.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 7, 2006
Ms. Turnbull, an Austrailian Journalist, finds herself with a new boyfriend in Paris. Not knowing or understanding the culture, language, intricacies and eccentricities of the French, she allows us into her inner thoughts as she assimilates. Her writing is superb. Her metaphors and similies are written with the same humor and wit as Peter Mayle, but with the viewpoint of an Aussie female. I couldn't help but laugh out loud as she described the words and melody of the language as a 'verbal stew.'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 29, 2006
I did not find this 'novel' funny, it was tedious. The author, who did not speak the language, had the audacity to complain about being snubbed by people. Perhaps it was all in her mind since she couldn't communicate with them. Did she expect they would all learn English for her? I thought her constant whining was annoying. Thankfully, a friend lent me this book, I didn't spend my own money for it, it's worthless. I tend to buy and/or read books set in France, but I'm glad I didn't buy this one!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 11, 2006
Packed with insightful commentary covering a multitude of male/female, Anglo/French, rich/poor contrasts, this book stands out because it is the only book I've yet read about falling in love with a Frenchman that has NO romance. Certainly, her boyfriend's privacy has remained scorchingly impenetrable, but at the expense of an exciting storyline. She mysteriously, for an otherwise intelligent writer, falls under that curious French mystique - where cruelty passes for an okay tradition - just because it tastes good. Yo! Compassion? She thus totally blows off the hideous life and death of geese in the cause of insufferable pates. And, an early anticipation that she might contribute something other than shallow acquiesance to high fashion is squandered on boring sequenish details. Notable and timely is her more considered explanation for the turnaround of the French economy and esteem heralded by Zizou!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 21, 2005
The book's subtitle, 'Love and a New Life in Paris,' suggests that it will be a love story as much as it will deal with Turnbull's culture shock. This is not the case, however: Turnbull has made a conscious decision to focus on the relationship as it relates to the cultural clashes and nothing more. The book is enjoyable and funny, and certainly provides an insider's view into French, particularly Parisian culture, but if you are looking for a love story you will be disappointed. I found the chapter on the clochards, the street people, very touching--perhaps the best example of the way that Turnbull's new home forces her to examine her own culture and the things she takes for granted. The section on the dinner parties borders on excruciating--but maybe it's meant to evoke the same frustration that Turnbull experienced. A good read, nonetheless!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 23, 2005
Posted June 3, 2009
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Posted January 2, 2010
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Posted August 3, 2009
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