Title: Lunch in Paris
Author: Elizabeth Bard
Publisher: Back Bay Books
If you are looking for Eat, Pray, Love or Julie & Julia at the bookstore – STOP. Pick this up instead. It’s friendlier, wittier, and far more relaxing.
It was the water color that got me first. That and the fact that I love memoirs with recipes, they pretty much dominate my source of kitchen plans. Then, that first page of that first chapter: Coffee, Tea, or Me and her description of herself – I felt so at home, so in league with a kindred spirit.
She says things like “I stood pressed against the wall, like a field anthropologist caught in the middle of a buffalo exorcism,” when describing a French dance party. How can you not fall in love with a writer that expresses herself like that? I literally started laughing out loud, and I hate using that phrase since all the texters in society have begun speaking how they type, so when I use it I really mean it.
Bard is pleasant and loveable. She has dilemmas that I can sympathize with, as opposed to Gilbert’s laments in Eat, Pray, Love which seemed all a little over the top and self inflicted. I did laugh a few times when she chalked something her husband did up to his being French, a lot of times it just seemed very husbandy to me. But for the most part, I think I was only laughing when I was truly meant to, when she utilized some turn of phrase or told a story that should make the corners of your mouth twitch while you read.
My favorite moment was when a friend tells her she can’t just go to the market for the rest of her life. Before Bard got a chance to say it herself, I inwardly pleaded… why not? It doesn’t matter whether you loathe or love the grocery stores here in the states, Bard will make you fall in love with European markets and long desperately to go make purchases at a butcher shop in Paris and linger over vegetables in the streets.
Go. Buy. Enjoy. I know you’ll love it.