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C'est la Vie

Book Review

book cover C'est la Vie
Suzy Gershman
Hardcover, 274 pages
Viking ∑ US $24.95, CAN $37.50
ISBN 0-670-03269-7

"An American conquers the City of Light, begins a new life, and becomes--zut alors!--almost French"

Suzy Gershman is best known as the originator of the "Born to Shop" guidebooks, including Born to Shop: Paris, which is now in its twelfth edition. But with C'est la Vie, she proves that she isn't just the world's most entertaining shopping expert--she's also an author with a knack for travel narrative.

When the book begins, Suzy Gershman has been dreaming of living in France after more than 30 years of shopping trips to Paris. A tragic family event convinces her that the time has come to fulfill her dreams--and six weeks later, she's in Paris, looking for a place to live.

Over the course of the next year, Suzy Gershman finds and furnishes an apartment, makes new friends, has an affair with a Viagra-popping count, acquires a dog, savors "the terrific adventure that is daily life" in a country where freedom fries are pommes frites, and shops for everything from Porthault linens to a Christmas tree. C'est la Vie is an entertaining tale of her day-to-day experiences interwoven with the story of her own personal growth--plus a soupÁon of expat advice and shopping tips along the way.

Suzy Gershman is the type of person who inspires women to shop and men to flirt. She's smart, funny, vivacious, and uninhibited--especially when she's writing about French life and relationships. If you've ever dreamed of living in Paris, or if you just like travel narratives that are written in a lively and conversational style, look for C'est la Vie at your nearest bookseller. It's one of the most entertaining, enjoyable, and informative books about living abroad that I've read in a long time.

Tip: If you enjoy C'est la Vie, you'll also want to read Sarah Turnbull's Almost French; Love and a New Life in Paris, a delightful account of how a vacationing Australian journalist met a Frenchman, moved to Paris, and learned to cope with life as an Antipodal Parisienne.

Read Excerpt #1: Being Catherine Deneuve