We'll Always Have Paris

Trying and Failing to Be French

3.78 based on 140 ratings & 24 reviews on Goodreads.com
Pan

Publication date: 06.04.2017
ISBN: 9781447285809
Number of pages: 352

Synopsis

As a bored, moody teenager, Emma Beddington came across a copy of French ELLE in the library of her austere Yorkshire school. As she turned the pages, full of philosophy, sex and lipstick, she realized that her life had one purpose and one purpose only: she needed to be French.

Instead of skulking in her bedroom listening to The Smiths or trudging to Betty's Tea Room to buy fondant fancies, she would be free and solitary, sitting outside the Café de Flore with a Scottie dog at her feet, a Moleskine on the table and a Gauloise trembling on her lower lip.

And so she set about becoming French: she did a French exchange, albeit in Casablanca; she studied French history at university, and spent the holidays in France with her French boyfriend. Eventually, after a family tragedy, she found herself living in Paris, with the same French boyfriend and two half-French children. Her dream had come true, but how would reality match up? Gradually Emma realized that she might have found Paris, but what she really needed to find was home.

Written with enormous wit and warmth, We'll Always Have Paris is a memoir for anyone who has ever worn a Breton T-shirt and wondered, however fleetingly, if they could pass for une vraie Parisienne.

In the media

Emma writes frankly and with self-deprecating humour about depression, motherhood, her Paris dreams and their soul-crushing reality, and cake. There's so much cake in this delightful, thoughtful book.
Red
A sumptuous ode to Gallic philosophy, patisserie and joie de vivre, and also a poignant account of relationships, loss and identity.
Independent