Paris in Love Summary & Study Guide

Eloisa James
This Study Guide consists of approximately 80 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Paris in Love.
This section contains 391 words
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Paris in Love Summary & Study Guide Description

Paris in Love Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Quotes and a Free Quiz on Paris in Love by Eloisa James.

The following version of this book was used when creating this study guide: James, Eloisa. Paris in Love: A Memoir. Random House, 2013.

Paris in Love: A Memoir chronicles the yearlong sabbatical of Mary Bly, noted Shakespeare professor. Bly writes the memoir using her pen name, Eloisa James, representing her other very successful career as a bestselling romance novelist. After a cancer diagnosis, James and her family sell everything they have and relocated to Paris for introspection. James arrives in Paris intending to continue life as normal, saying she plans to write two more romance novels and two weighty academic pieces. However, she learns to relax for the first time in her life and writes primarily Twitter and facebook posts. After expanding a few of these posts and keeping most of them intact, these social media bits become the memoir.

In spite of the unusual format of the text, the memoir is a sensory journey of shopping, eating, relaxing, and laughing. Additionally, there is plenty of introspection about surviving cancer and losing loved ones who did not survive cancer. James arranges the small bites of text into seasonal sections. The family arrives in the fall, so the children’s school year remains intact. They experience typical cultural and linguistic barriers, but eventually the entire family learns to love their new city. James visits many museums and spends quite a bit of time just walking through the city, an astute observer of human behavior.

Most of the chapters begin with multi-paragraph essays that thematically connect to the corresponding vignettes, although there are a few exceptions to this formatting pattern. She explores the differences between French women and American women in terms of fashion choice, food preference, and personal style, and her Italian husband offers much commentary on the differences he observes between French men and their Italian counterparts. Her children unwittingly provide much humor as the reader is treated to an intimate chronicle of their navigation of puberty and a school year happening in a language neither of them speak.

Most notably, the memoir refuses to succumb to the expectation of being a sappy, syrupy account of life beyond cancer. James’s trademark humor keeps this from happening. Additionally, she excels in beginning many chapters with a memory that connects beautifully to the current theme explored in the chapter.

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