Title: C’est La Vie
Author: Suzy Gershman
Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) (May 31, 2005)
ISBN: 0143035509 978-0143035503
Quick Review: 3 stars (out of 5)
Why I Read It: It looked cute and short for the plane trip.
Where I Obtained the book: At my local library sale.
Synopsis: Bestselling writer Suzy Gershman (dubbed "Super Shopper Suzy" by Oprah) is our answer to Peter Mayle in this heartfelt, breezy, and funny story of starting over in Paris. Suzy had always fantasized about moving to Paris with her husband, but when he dies unexpectedly, she decides to fulfill their dream alone. Here she gives a deliciously conversational chronicle of her first year in Paris and of the dizzying delights and maddening frustrations of learning to be a Parisian. Filled with Gershman’s insider’s tips on everything from cooking the perfect clafoutis to—naturally— shopping, C’est la Vie is delightfully entertaining and captures the exhilarating experience of beginning a new adventure.
Review: ** spoiler alert ** This book started on a sad note with the death of her husband, but improved along the way. She is a name dropper and has had a busy travelers/writers life. Moving to France was an experience that she worked hard at doing. The book is well written and quick to read. The loss of her husband is sad, but she deals the best she can and rises above the pain. Her friends are a great support system for her and she develops more in the first year there. Her son has a hard time with the move and a lack of a 'home'.
I enjoyed the story and hope the best for the author in the future. Less name dropping would have been nice, it was about every other page. This reminded me a bit of Eat Pray Love, without all the whining and complaining. This author did her best to make a bad situation good; she also lives a life I could not possibly afford(20,000 dollars to get an apartment and furnish it for the first year and that did not include rent on that apartment.) She embraced life and all the things that came along the way. This book was fast, cute, sweet, and a good distraction from everyday life.
Author Biography: Suzy Gershman is an author, journalist and shopping goddess who for the last 27 years has pioneered the Born to Shop series of travel guidebooks. Having just sold her house in Provence, she has returned to California and partnered with Amazon and Talking Frog Media to revise existing and write new Born to Shop titles.
The first new book, written with Sarah Lahey, is Born to Shop California Wine Country which will be available through amazon.com after September 1, 2010. Gershman and Lahey will follow up with books on Provence and the surrounding area (including Geneva and Barcelona), Asia (Tokyo, Kyoto, Bangkok, Manila, etc) and then the next edition of Born to Shop London, which will be ready pre-Olympics.
Gershman is currently living in Paso Robles, California, a small food and wine town she discovered while doing the research for Born to Shop California Wine Country. She is writing Merci, Madame -- something of a sequel to her memoire C'est la Vie, but a story about Gershman's house in Provence, the lifestyle in Provence and the Frenchman who asked for her hand in marriage.