Book Review – A Family in Paris

Jane Paech was a nurse in Adelaide when her husband was given the opportunity to live and work in Paris for two years. As a ‘trailing spouse’, she lacked the appropriate visa to continue working in her profession and saw this time as an opportunity to start a writing career.

With two young daughters in tow, they set off with expectations of a great adventure. Before too long, however, they found it wasn’t as easy as expected.

“A Family in Paris” is a delightful memoir, written in a lovely style, with photos and quotations dotted throughout. Parts of it are very funny – I found myself giggling out loud with some of the tales of woe.

Ikea gets a big mention, also the French bureaucracy (which would drive anyone mad) as well as a terrible tale of dealing with a French bank. La Poste (Post Office) also rates highly as a source of great frustration.

Jane and her family end up spending over six years in Paris and grow to love it, in spite of its many pitfalls. “A Family in Paris” contains excellent advice for would be ex-pats as well as entertaining the reader with her relaxed style of narration. It would be a terrific read for anyone planning on visiting Paris, even for a short time.

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