Whenever I see a book about Paris, I get apprehensive. As a one-year Parisian, fluent French speaker, and former graduate student in French history, I tend to avoid books about Paris. Why? Because they don’t do the experience of living in Paris justice. They tend to be tourist manifestos about the wondrous perfection of the city of lights or the musings of Parisian wannabes who frame their books around landmarks they found when they googled Paris. There are no details of daily life. No balance.
Amy Thomas’s Paris My Sweet: A Year in the City of Light (and Dark Chocolate) is not one of those books.
Thomas captures to a “t” the joys and the struggles of living in Paris as a foreigner and a single woman. The thrill of being surrounded by amazingly beautiful and historic neighborhoods. The fantastic food. The elegant side of French culture. But also, the horrific lines. Laissez-faire work scene. Smile-free living. The difficulty of finding French friends. And the loneliness of being single in the city of couples and romance. Thomas maintains realism while still leaving the reader’s glowing image of Paris intact. The book left me with a wave of nostalgia. It made me want to pack my bags and hop on a plane back to Paris.
But read Paris My Sweet fast! Take too long and you’ll likely keel over from a chocolate-induced coma. A consummate chocophile, Thomas details her explorations of sweet shops and chocolate makers in her two cities: Paris and New York. Mouth watering descriptions compel the reader to munch on tasty bonbons, sip hot chocolate, and inhale cupcakes at pandemic levels. Chocoholics anonymous, you have been forewarned!!
Thomas’s book is a light, fun read. This books is a must for foodies, Francophiles, single career women, and those who live in or will soon be traveling to New York or Paris. Thomas provides her readers with a veritable guidebook to high-end dessert joints and chocolate shops, big and small, in New York and Paris which would make for a fanciful tour for your pallet.
You can also take a look at Thomas’s blog: