Paris My Sweet is a memoir of a year in the life of thirty-six year old sweet-addict Amy, who gets the chance to work for Louis Vuitton in the city she has always dreamed about. Part guide book to the best bakeries in town, part love letter to Paris, part almost mid-life crisis, Amy must learn to live as an American ex-pat in an utterly foreign city. For readers with a sweet-tooth, there are many mouth-watering descriptions of the various pastries and cakes she tries, along with recommendations and information about famous chefs and pastry trends.
Paris My Sweet is a light, cosy read. Although it is a well-written memoir, it's written with a light tone that makes it easy to breeze through and escape into. I must admit to not being a massive dessert fan myself (I'm more into savoury snacks), but I did enjoy the descriptions of all the food and imagine that someone who enjoys cakes would love them even more. My favourite part was the passion and joy with which Amy wrote about Paris, I've visited Paris only once and her descriptions made me want to visit again. After reading this book, you too will want to cycle along the Champs D'Elysses, stopping at cute patissiers whenever the mood strikes you.
The parts that I felt didn't work as well were the parts when things became tough for Amy and she starts to feel very isolated living alone in a foreign city. Her feelings are definitely understandable, but the tone of the book is so light (it's like a chick-lit memoir) that it's hard to connect with Amy and really understand what she is going through. The writing jumps from loneliness to cupcakes too quickly to have any real impact. There's also a lot about the ticking of biological clocks that again feels a bit shallow. Paris My Sweet was more about the cakes and the wonderful setting than it was about any real identification with the author.
Still, this is a fun read that's perfect for any armchair traveller or pastry enthusiast. It's quick, breezy and will make you want to travel to Paris and gorge on cake immediately.
Source: From the publisher via NetGalley
Score: 3.5 out of 5
Paris My Sweet is published on the 1st February 2012.