Daily Archives: March 11, 2012

TSS: Paris, My Sweet by Amy Thomas

Paris, My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (And Dark Chocolate)

Amy Thomas

304 pages

Published in 2012 by Sourcebooks

Source: Publisher

Can one question change your life? I’m willing to bet a twenty-five-piece box of Jean-Paul Hevin bonbons on it.

I don’t read foodie memoirs often but there was something about Paris, My Sweet that I couldn’t pass up when the publisher offered it. The book chronicles a year in the author’s life as she makes the big decision to move from New York to Paris to work for a designer label. Before the move, Thomas worked for a newspaper and ran a blog called Sweet Freak. She spent nights club hopping with friends and her days working and visiting bakeries all over New York City. She was young, single, and had an obsession for Paris so taking the opportunity to move there was a no-brainer, right?

Well, not exactly. The problem with Paris though is that Thomas moves there knowing almost no one. She spends much of her free time alone, visiting various bakeries. Her French is pretty much at a third-grade level and it’s hard to find a decent single man or a friend. I found the parts about the author’s struggle honest and refreshing. Who hasn’t wished that they could live in a new city for a short amount of time? I know I have but I only lasted a month before returning home.

Even with the problems, Thomas realizes that there’s almost nowhere else she would rather be. Life is so different in Paris than in New York. There’s the fashion, the people, and also the culture which all comes across so realistic for readers. I realized that when Thomas tells readers how eating at your work desk is a no-no. You’re expected to leave your desk and go out to eat for the two lunch hours you get daily.

This is a foodie memoir so I should at least mention the food. Thomas has a major sweet tooth, so visiting various bakeries daily throughout her year in Paris is a must. She writes about these places and let readers in on the lives of these bakers and their shops. I enjoyed knowing about these strangers and why they make their signature dishes. I could practically imagine the atmosphere, the spring days, and the food. Whether Thomas is writing about macaroons, the cupcake craze in Paris, what makes French toast so delicious, or the power of chocolate chip cookies, you’ll be willing to follow the writer any place she goes. It doesn’t hurt that in the back of the book, Thomas gives the address to every place she visits in Paris and New York.

I do have to admit that after awhile, I did get tired of the book. I think maybe the last 10-20 pages could have been taken out or shortened.

With that said, if you’re ever going to visit either Paris or New York, you need to bring Paris, My Sweet along. You won’t regret it. My rating: 3 out of 5 stars.