Almost French: Love and a New Life in Paris by Sarah Turnbull
After reading Bringing Up Be'be', I wanted a more balanced look at adjusting to life in Paris, and I saw Almost French mentioned in another Goodreads review. Fortunately, my library had a copy just waiting for me, so I was able to read it right away.
Sarah Turnbull, an Australian journalist, shares the joys and perils of adjusting to life in Paris. Primarily, she focuses on the differences in social interactions, and her own frustration as she slowly figures out the rules as she unwittingly breaks them. Throughout, she gives the reader a glimpse into the mindset of the Parisians - what they value, what they don't, and a little bit of why.
Being able to see the beauty of her adopted culture even while she struggled to adapt to it makes Turnbull's memoir a likable read. It was also refreshing to read an Anglo-in-Paris memoir that occasionally steps outside of upper middle class Paris. Seeing the differences, and similarities, between rural France and Paris, added a depth of understanding to the culture and its people, as did her descriptions of her quartier, which was on the cusp of gentrification as she wrote.