Many people would sell a non-essential organ, a spare kidney say, to live in Paris. The mere uttering of the word causes many to hyperventilate at the thought of romantic trysts in secluded side street bistros and strolls in statue-strewn gardens.
Rosencrans Baldwin thought he was very much one of their number but when he came to live in the City of Lights he wasn’t so sure.
The staggering bureaucracy, extraordinary sexism and enormous expense of Europe’s most cultured city have him struggling to discover his joi de vivre.
Yet aided by a fabulous advertising job shooting celebrity films for Louis Vuitton and the delight of having his first novel published back in his American homeland he gradually becomes all turned around on the subject and leaves as in love with the place as when he first arrived.
In between we get a wry, poignant and at times very funny memoir that beautifully portrays what it’s like to be confronted by the reality of what we profess to love.
Highly recommended for Francophones and anyone who has lived abroad.