Wednesday, April 02, 2014

France Book Tours -- Confessions of a Paris Party Girl

France Book Tours asked me to review a copy of Confessions of a Paris Party Girl by Vicki Lesage. 
Here's the synopsis from the author:
Wine, romance, and French bureaucracy – the ups and downs of an American’s life in Paris. This laugh-out-loud memoir is almost too funny to be true!
 Drinking too much bubbly. Meeting sappy Frenchmen who have girlfriends or are creeps or both. Encountering problème after problème with French bureaucracy. When newly-single party girl Vicki moved to Paris, she was hoping to taste wine, stuff her face with croissants, and maybe fall in love. In her first book, this long-time blogger and semi-professional drinker recounts the ups and downs of her life in Paris. Full of sass, shamefully honest admissions, and situations that seem too absurd to be true, Vicki makes you feel as if you’re stumbling along the cobblestones with her.
Will she find love? Will she learn to consume reasonable amounts of alcohol? Will the French administration ever cut her a break?
 This memoir traces the lucky life of Vicki who moved to Paris in her 20s and made an exciting new French life. Part Bridget Jones' Diary, part Le Mariage by Diane Johnson, the author takes us on a roller coaster of ex-pat fun.
Those of us who are enamored of France imagine what life would be like if we moved there. Mostly we dream of baguettes and wine. We don't really picture the difficulties.
The author pulls no punches in laying out the difficulties. Making life a little harder for herself, she parties like Bridget Jones and has many regrets afterwards. 
We ordered off the English menu anyway, and passed the evening in a blur of indulgent food and copious amounts of wine. I recall a tasty after-dinner drink (or three) comprised of white wine, wild berry liqueur and cognac. I'm sure I no longer had any control over the volume of my voice.....In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have had so many after-dinner drinks. Then again, they shouldn't make them taste like Kool-Aid if they don't want me to order fifty of them. Who can win a fight against wild berry liqueur? 
 I'm well past my partying days, and mostly as the author described her overindulgences, I felt glad I had moved on.
Vicki Lesage is an IT Director by day, writer
by night. 
And a full-time nerd. She loves fondue,
 wine, math, and zombies.
She lives in Paris with her
 French husband and rambunctious son.
Much more interesting to me were all of the French quirks of culture, like yogurt as dessert. I loved hearing about the classes she had to take to be allowed to work in France. And who knew about the number of hoops someone has to jump through to get married to a Frenchman. That was really fascinating. I wonder if they could have avoided it by getting married in the United States.
But what Francophile girl hasn't dreamed of being married in Paris? The author achieves this goal.
At the crack of dawn on Saturday, we headed to our appointment with Père Nicolas. Normally sleeping off a hangover at this hour, I saw a new Paris during the five-minute walk. Store owners straightening their shops, old ladies rolling their grocery caddies, street cleaners sprucing up the sidewalks....
According to the rules of the French Catholic Church, you have to get married in the church in your quartier unless you are an active member of another church. I supposed this was to avoid everyone clamoring to marry in Notre Dame of Sacré Coeur.

 I loved seeing the details of planning the marriage and pulling it off.
This was a fun read and I recommend it. Maybe for vacation, or if you can't afford a vacation this year. Go to Paris and sow your wild oats in this memoir.


Adria said...

Yes, I loved the fact that Vicki talked about the difficulties of getting settled in Paris. In addition to being a fun book that any Paris lover would enjoy, it's also a great guide for those who would like to move to Paris as Vicki did...

Vicki Lesage said...

Paulita, thanks for the great review! Hope your readers find it interesting :)

Vicki Lesage said...

Adria, thanks for the comment! If someone were to use my book as a guide, I think they should probably do a little less drinking but other than that, I think it pretty much outlines what it's like for the average person. Just wait for the sequel, where I outline everything you have to go through to have a baby in France!

Anonymous said...

thanks for your nice review Paulita. And this rejoices my heart to see you all 3 authors from France Book Tours dialoguing here! and I can't wait for the sequel!

Elle said...

I enjoyed this book tremendously. I don't think I would characterize Vicki as lucky so much as intrepid or even courageous. I'm sure it took a lot of guts to move to a foreign country on her own and make a new life for herself. My favorite chapter (besides the wedding of course)was the one about taking the required class on French culture. Hilarious!

Vicki Lesage said...

Thanks for the comment, Elle! Believe it or not, there are parts of that class I left out of the book because the story was already so long. It was incredible :)

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