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A story of love, life and adventure in Paris.
It’s amazing what we will do for love. Its magnetism draws like nothing else, as the readers of this fast paced and exciting memoir will discover.
It is possible to break free from your traditionally expected path in life and live a totally different one. The author, Karen Webb, discovered this when one day when she suddenly realised with certain clarity that she didn’t want to just get her degree, and the settle down with her fiancé Steve to a lifetime of beer and rugby in Neath.
Instead in 1989 this story begins at Aberystwyth train station, where she is saying goodbye to her university life and friends, who all think she is mad. Why, well because running headlong out of one relationship has led to her falling hopelessly in love with David Azoulay, a naturally charismatic French Orthodox Jew.
Charming and caring he quickly takes her heart, and then heartlessly tells her that she must let him go. Hurt, rejected, and sure she can change his mind, what does she do, she follows him back home to Paris. Reckless, impetuous perhaps, however this decision is the first of many she is destined to make.
I for one, having become an expat English living in France 16 years ago understand totally the draw of adventure, the wonder of Paris and the wonderful experiences living in France has to offer.
Encouraged by her friend, or perhaps as we discover devil on her shoulder, Jessica, Karen, like many girls before her finds a job as an au pair to a French couple with three children. Settled in their bourgeoise house in Paris she quickly discovers what is expected of her, and to her surprise some amazing insights into the French attitudes to sex, married life, and relationships.
Karen also very quickly discovers how totally lost you can feel when everyone around you speaks French at double time, and expects you to understand them.
Her experiences provide entertaining and interesting reading, and gives her readers a real feel for French family life. However, the appearance of her friend Jessica at her employer’s house one night is destined to change everything, her relationships, career, home, indeed her whole life.
There is so much of everything packed into this story, her life is truly a rollercoaster of an adventure, yet, throughout Karen has the amazing ability to adapt to whatever life throws at her, however the question is, did she get her man?
This is the first of a three part memoir by this talented author and I for one cannot wait to read more of her loves, experiences, and adventures. Highly recommended – whether you love a great memoir which enables you to peeping into other people’s lives, adore Paris or France, or just want an excellent story you can get totally absorbed into, this is the book for you!
About the Author:
Born in Cheshire, Karen graduated with an English Literature degree from Aberystwyth University, moving to Paris in 1989 for what was intended to be a six-week course in French. She stayed on first working as an English Language teacher for schools and then setting up her own training centre teaching English in companies across the city. In 2005 she moved with her two children to the South West of France where she spent the next couple of years renovating dilapidated French farmhouses. Since then she has qualified as a real estate agent, gained an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University, and began a programme of literary retreats in France, inviting authors and publishers from all over the world to come and teach to aspiring writers. ‘A Stranger in Paris’ is her first book, and the first in a three-part memoir covering her life in France, and integration into French culture.
About the Book:
The first in a three-part memoir exposing the darker side of French culture, a brilliantly funny and poignant study of French life that begins when a young graduate makes a spontaneous decision to follow the man she loves to Paris. He is, however, nowhere to be found … Now a penniless singleton she must work in order to survive. With only a smattering of French she begins a new life. ‘A Stranger in Paris’ follows Karen in her formative years as she searches for friends, family, and love. A portrayal of French life from the inside by a narrator who has seen the various echelons of French society from rich to poor, from the capital city to the rural South West.
A Stranger in Paris is available from Amazon in Paperback and Kindle formats