I have a minor obsession with Paris. I’m lucky enough to have been there, but unlucky to have spent most of my one day there underground in the Metro trying to figure out a one-way passage on the EuroStar to London. What I did experience above ground, I loved, and it is currently Number 2 on my travel wish list. Around spring time every year, at least one book is released about an American living in Paris. Sometimes it’s two. And I will usually pick them up. This year, it’s Paris, My Sweet by Amy Thomas.
Amy Thomas was lucky enough to get transferred to Paris for work with a famous luxury brand. A self proclaimed “sweet freak,” Thomas was ready to explore not only the city she was totally enamored with, but also the best of the perfected chocolates and pastries Paris is so well-known for. But Thomas really does know her stuff. While on her mission to find the sweetest bites, she weaves in stories of New York’s best cupcakes, cookies, and even macarons. Her knowledge is extensive and at the end of each chapter, she provides a list of where to go in both cities for a delectable treat.
The story isn’t just about sweets, but about how one woman navigates through life on a different trajectory than the life her friends lead in New York, but not exactly on par with the lives of her new friends in Paris. Essentially, in a curious limbo, Thomas spends much of the book trying to figure out where she fits. Her journey is interesting and her point of view is fresh. She doesn’t say what she thinks she should, but what she truly feels. And sometimes, even if your dream becomes reality, it may not always be smooth sailing.
I enjoyed this book. I really felt like I had an understanding of what it can feel like to be an expatriate alone in a new city for a long time. And I certainly liked all the descriptions of sweets, but I felt like some of the transitions into the dessert descriptions were rough, and the segue out didn’t always make sense. I recommend this book if you will be traveling to New York or Paris and have a sweet tooth. She mentions tons of great spots that had my mouth watering. And warning: Her description of the Parisian croissant will forever ruin the American version of the breakfast food for you. It sounds so good that it hurts to not have one available immediately.
I give this read a 3/5.