Paris Letters – Book Review

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Author: Janice MacLeod

Book blurb: “How much money does it take to change your life?”
Unfulfilled at her job and unsuccessful in the dating department, Janice MacLeod doodled this question at her desk. Then she decided to make it a challenge. Over the next few months, with a little math and a lot of determination, she saved up enough to buy two years of freedom in Europe.
But she had only been in Paris for a few days when she met a handsome butcher (with a striking resemblance to Daniel Craig)—and never went home again. It is a New York Times bestseller.

I saw this book on sale and picked it up just because I found the blurb and cover interesting. I was not disappointed with my choice. I wish I could relocate to a different country and start my life all over again, make new friends and find a new profession (I have already done it once 🙂 ). If you love to travel, you should definitely read this book. The author talks about her trips to Paris and also about her UK and Italy trip. I felt like packing my bag and catching the first flight available to Europe after reading this book. She talks about the yummy food she had in Paris, about famous personalities and writers who spent their days in Paris, about French people, language and I found it all really fascinating to read.

The writing was good and it kept me interested. I did not get bored nor did I feel like keeping the book aside while reading. It had me engrossed and I enjoyed reading and learning more about France. I have only read Dan Brown’s book on France so far. I loved the idea of painted letters a lot and this book had many such letters. I loved reading these letters, one letter at the end of each chapter. The author got inspired from some paintings by Percy Kelly that she saw in UK. I had no idea about this painter. I want to get hold of a book which has a collection of his painted letters, if and when I visit Europe. I want to try it out myself someday too as I love to paint.

I ordered a Paris letter from the author’s Etsy shop and received a lovely painted letter from her in my mail. I am now planning to frame this letter and hang it on the wall. The painting is too beautiful! Janice is really talented and I am not surprised that she was able to switch her career easily to become an artist once she moved to Paris. I showed this letter to my husband and even he loved it. She has a pretty handwriting.

My Paris letter from Janice –

parisletter_sm

The author maintained a journal that helped her plan her travels and also life. I am now considering having a journal of my own. I want to start writing in a journal daily or at least weekly. Let’s see how that goes. She also had a blog where she wrote all about her plan, so she was a blogger before she became an author. I also liked the part about her uncluttering and simplifying her life before she moved from California. She gave a lot of tips on how to save money for your travels. I found that section informative.

There are many lovely quotes in the book –

“We must know how to design our lives. We are all artists, and each day is a canvas.”

“Along the way, I replaced a bad habit of being upset with a good habit of being happy. Could it really be that simple?”

“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.”

“Travelers live by this rule: collect as many experiences as you can without getting yourself killed or worse.”

“If you only accomplish one thing in a year, let it be paying something off. A student loan, a car, a credit card, a bookie, whatever.”

The only reason for liking and not loving this book is that it sounded unrealistic. The author only talks about the good stuff happening to her and never about the difficulties and challenges she faced. So it sounds almost like a fairy tale where she just happens to meet a perfect man in a new country, she never had any trouble with her finances, in settling in an unknown country all alone, or in staying away from family so far. I mean, it is a wonder that some random guy in a random country did not turn out to be a psychopath or a robber or a rapist. I hope other women don’t get inspired and try what she did – I would call it luck or fluke that everything worked out so well for her. I would have preferred it if it was more realistic and had less of the author praising her perfect man for pages together. I wish she had concentrated more on her Paris experience than her romance.

But still it is a good one time read and anyone who is interested in travel or France should read this book. I enjoyed reading it.

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6 thoughts on “Paris Letters – Book Review

  1. Nice painting on the letter. That quote – “Freedom is another word for nothing left to lose.” is profound 🙂

    I don’t think I’d like to just move and settle down in a different country because I am inspired! I might want to go on a short trip there, but that’s it.

    Destination Infinity

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  2. Thanks for the nice review. i loved reading this post. However it is all “goody goody” when reading a book. It is very different in real life. For example, French people are obnoxious.and rude. They are also a bunch of losers. If not for the Americans, they will be speaking German now.

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