Saturday, April 30, 2011
Lunch in Paris
I've always had an appreciation for French things-- food, art, fashion and books. When I first heard about Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard, I was instantly intrigued. Here was a memoir about Bard's life in Paris and the story of how she met her husband, including her own recipes sprinkled throughout the book.
The recipes do sound quite delicious and relatively simple and I am anxious to try her apricot ladyfinger dessert, made in a saucepan. I enjoyed her descriptions of going to her local market and struggling over her French produce vocabulary. It was interesting right after devouring French Women Don't Get Fat and then diving into this one Bard too writes about the "French Woman Diet." She observes her mother-in-law's eating habits that actually echo Guiliano's quite similarly-- her not snacking between meals and small portions.
While it is a pretty light read, I just couldn't get into it. I really wanted to like it but about halfway through, I realized that I really didn't like the book all that much. I found myself not really emotionally invested in the character and author, Bard. The way she writes about her mother and her overall attitude is a little condescending, especially towards her own American heritage.
I was actually a little bored while reading it, which surprised me. I had been looking forward to reading this book for some time now. I believe that memoirs should tell some kind of story, some type of transformation. But with Bard's, I just kept waiting for something to change, for some kind of point to be made but the book just went on and on, ending without any sort of resolution. Not that everyone has to have some huge accomplishment in their life, but if there's no marked change then what's the point of recounting a superficial story?