The first month of the World Party Reading Challenge takes us to France, a country rich in culture and history. It’s capital city, Paris, is one of the great cities of the world.
I have “only” been to Paris once, but after reading Deirdre Kelly’s memoir Paris Times Eight: Finding Myself in the City of Dreams, I am finding myself wanting to drop everything and get on the next plane to experience it again. This memoir takes us with Kelly to her eight visits to Paris at various stages in her life, the first as a recent high-school graduate, the most recent (I doubt it is her last) with her two young children. Each visit provides her with a different glimpse of Paris ( “.. A city of endliess possibilities, never quite grasped”), and of course of herself; during one visit in which she is bound to stay in Paris permanently and is offered a job well beneath her qualifications, she decides that living in her dream city is not worth sacrificing her writing ambitions, however later on she accepts a position at her newspaper almost solely for the fact that she will be required to travel to Paris. She cannot completely rid herself of the pull Paris has on her.
I really enjoyed reading this book, especially for the descriptions of the Parisian neighborhoods known and not-so-known to the occasional visitor. I cannot wait to visit again.