{Book Review} Master the Art of French Eating


This was the second to last book I read before I left London (the last was My Life in France). I thought it was really fitting since I spent the last 11 years living, not in Paris, but in London. Paris is to Ann what London was to me. I was fascinated with London since I was a teenager (probably stemmed from my fascination with UK boy bands in my early teens) and hence why I chose it for college. Mastering the Art of French Eating is Ann’s memoir of her stint in Paris, one dish at a time.

Her journey starts on a three year assignment with her husband, Calvin, but he’s unexpectedly called away for a year in Iraq and Ann must stay in Paris for a year on her own. Instead of sitting at home lonely she makes it her mission to get out and starts discovering, tasting and learning about French cuisine. The book’s chapters are all based on regions/cities in France and a specialty dish. The chapters don’t all follow a standard format but you can expect how she got there (travelling around in a foreign country is a lot harder than you may think), who she met, history of the dish and plenty of musings on life. There are also recipes tucked into some of the chapters.

I know nothing about French food, besides what I read on David Lebovit’s blog, and I found the book to be very thorough, descriptive to the point of making my mouth water (or stomach churn depending on which chapter) and humerus. I loved the book because I feel I can relate broadly to Ann. I’m a very independent person and I enjoy doing things on my own just as much as I like the companie of others. I can’t say that I’ve had to face something as strenuous or serious as a deployment, however, I can relate to the nuances of living in a foreign country 100%. ¬†Besides living in France she spent time in China and one passage of the book Ann tries to come up with an answer to, “where are you from?”. Same as Ann I don’t know what to say to this question either. There is just not a one word answer to this question.

If you love Paris, food or travel then I think you’ll find something to love and relate to in this novel.

I received a copy to review


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