Book Review: Paris Letters, by Janice MacLeod

“How much money does it take to change your life?”cv_paris_letters

Unfulfilled at her job and unsuccessful in the dating department, Janice MacLeod doodled this question at her desk. Then she decided to make it a challenge.

Over the next few months, with a little math and a lot of determination, she saved up enough to buy two years of freedom in Europe.

But she had only been in Paris for a few days when she met a handsome butcher (with a striking resemblance to Daniel Craig)—and never went home again.

A love story in the vein of Almost French and Lunch in Paris, Paris Letters is a joyful romp through the City of Light, and an inspiring look at what can happen when we dare to create the life we want.paris_letters_image

Realizing that her Parisian love affair would be forever, MacLeod began her own business on Etsy, creating beautifully-illustrated letters from Paris (eg. from Sourcebooks), inspired by artists like Percy Kelly and Beatrix Potter. She now paints and writes full-time, bringing beautiful things to subscribers around the world and reviving the lost art of letter-writing.

My Thoughts

While reading Paris Letters I was somewhat reminded of Bridget Jones’s Diary, except instead of being based around low-brow humor, excessive boozing and the never ending hunt for the next man to bonk or marry, I was taken away on a daring trip of a lifetime, an experience in faith and hope that all will work out in the end. A love story − not only for Janice and Christophe, but for Paris and its lifestyle, the thrill of the what-if, and more importantly the fulfillment of one’s true heart’s desire.

Part memoir, part self-help book, Paris Letters has an easy flow about it that just sucks you in. I was engrossed from start to finish by its simply addictive narrative. Beautifully written, and interspersed with some very pretty artwork I was surprised to find I’d read half the book while pretending to cook dinner; and after a quick trip for takeaways to appease the kids, I finished Paris Letters with a few lists of my own to implement − I was inspired to find my own heart’s desire. And while there will be no crazy overseas trips for me, I am currently de-cluttering my house, my life and mind, while kick starting a new and exciting venture of my own!

A truly inspiring read that really resonated with me, I find it hard to fault Paris Letters at all. But if I was being overly picky, I’d suggest that maybe more of the artwork could have been in color, but even so, I was struck by their subtle beauty. 5 Stars

Reviewed by Cath Cowley

Paris Letters
by Janice MacLeod
Published by Macmillan Australia
ISBN 9781743519523

 

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