Buying a Piece of Paris is a charming and witty love song to the most beautiful city in the world.
Paris has seduced many admirers, but for Ellie Nielsen it’s true love. So deep is her infatuation that she’ll only be satisfied with a little place to call her own. The object of her desire seems so simple: the sort of apartment she’s seen a thousand times in magazines and movies. Something effortlessly charming, and quirky, and old— and expertly decorated. Something exuding character and Parisian chic. Something quintessentially French.
Little does she realize that the French real estate scene is not quite the dreamscape she’d imagined. With two weeks to find and secure an apartment, and a cursory grasp of the language, Ellie embarks on a mad dash through the streets of Paris, negotiating the fraught world snobby real estate agents, xenophobic bankers and perplexed Parisian naysayers. Thwarted at every turn, in the end it only makes her more determined to succeed.
With her trusty French phrasebook in hand, and plucked up reserves of savoir faire, Ellie undertakes the adventure of a lifetime. Beauty is everywhere even if, like all true romances, there are many obstacles to be overcome. But then, c’est toujours comme ça à Paris. Written with great verve and a superb ear for language, Buying a Piece of Paris is a joy to read and a pleasure to dream about.
|Publisher:||Bolinda Publishing Pty, Limited|
|Product dimensions:||7.12(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Ellie Nielsen is the author of Buying a Piece of Paris. She has worked as an actress, publicist, curator and script assessor. After the birth of her son, she began writing, and dreaming of moving to Paris.
Read an Excerpt
Buying a Piece of ParisThe Home of My Dreams in the City of Lights
By Nielsen, Ellie
St. Martin's GriffinCopyright © 2010 Nielsen, Ellie
All right reserved.
“I am greatly in the habit of imagining myself in all manner of situations that are outside my real, everyday life. So that day, almost four years ago, as I stood at my window, willing the street beyond to leap up two floors and embrace me, a plan popped into my head. It was a perfect plan, one that involved daring, danger, and a ridiculous amount of money...I decided to buy Paris. Well, just a tiny bit of it. I’m not totally irrational.” --From Buying a Piece of Paris
Excerpted from Buying a Piece of Paris by Nielsen, Ellie Copyright © 2010 by Nielsen, Ellie. Excerpted by permission.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed this book, I really did. And anyone else who is fascinated and enthralled by all things Parisian and the dreams of living in France will enjoy it too. But it lacked any discernable depth, and I found myself continually thinking how spoiled and detatched from reality the author is. And the French she peppers throughout the book is basic and clearly contrived for her purposes - Parisians don't actually speak in such banal, truncated sentences. However, like I said, I did enjoy the book for its fantastical qualities, even though it was lacking in any kind of literary merit. A great read for the ski lodge or the beach.
Jack Nielsen tells his wife Ellie while they are driving in Melbourne, they should buy an apartment in Paris. She and their accountant agree for differing reasons. She because she loves the city while the accountant says it makes sense financially. Back in Paris Ellie begins the search for an apartment they can afford that has the special French unique feel and would comfortably be showcased in a magazine. Blaming the butcher, she entered her first realtor office only to be met with culture shock from the onset; as the number of rooms is irrelevant, but the number of meters is everything. Other stunners also occur as Ellie obtains a taste of the unique Parisian real estate market. Like much of the audience outside of Paris, Elle finds a part of the city that she never knew existed until she began the search. Filled with homage for the French capital, readers who enjoy a lighthearted well written memoir will want to read Ellie Neilson¿s melodious tour of apartment hunting in Paris.
Living in Paris is the author¿s dream, and this is the tale of buying an apartment with minimal language skills, limited time and no understanding of French ways. Like one of my other favourite accounts of negotiating life in France as a foreigner (Almost French by Sarah Turnbull), this is by an Australian. It is delightful to watch as the unpretentious optimism of the Aussie wins over the more cautious and critical Parisians.