Book Review – Almost French, Sarah Turnbull

Almost French. By Sarah Turnbull.

Sarah Turnbull. An Australian in Paris. Paris explained through the eyes of an Australian. French behaviour and idiosyncrasies and cultural beliefs explained from the eyes of not only an Australian but a girl from my adopted hood of the Northern Beaches. What could be better for an explanation as to how to understand the French and their marvelous capital?

Why this book?

This book is not only about romance but about longing for home when you are somewhere strange. Even when that somewhere strange is Paris and all your dreams where set here, you can still long for home. I related so much to her desperate need for home life as years at boarding school taught me no matter how good the rest of the world is, home is home and family is everything.

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The Author

Sarah Turnbull is the author of the international bestseller Almost French. Formerly a television journalist with SBS in Sydney, she began working as a freelance writer having moved to Paris in 1994. After close to a decade in France, Sarah spent several years on an island in French Polynesia. She has now retruned to where she grew up and lives in Sydney.

Her most recent book is All Good Things. To be reviewed shortly.

Why should you read it?

As you learn about Paris’ arrondisements and the frustration of loving a man from a different culture, you fall in love with not only Sarah’s writing but also her. She exposed herself beautifully and gives pieces of herself that makes relating to French ways of life and Paris so much easier than ever before.

The book is a travel memoir in a way. Sarah finds the love of her life in Paris and the books covers many clashes of both cultures. It is delightful and entertaining. It is a reminder of that with all highs, there are sometimes lows.

In Summary

Trust me, an easy read, but you will definitely follow up this book with her second. Sarah’s writing is easy to read, with an added sense of humour. If I was playing that ‘pick-interesting-people-you-would-invite-to-a-dinner-party’ I think Sarah would not only be a hoot but also very interesting with her anecdotes and translations of French.

Do you have friends that have differing cultural backgrounds in a relationship? How do you use humour to get through tricky cultural clashes with your loved one’s?


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