Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod (4 out of 5)



Janice MacLeod has a story similar to many of us- upon turning 30, she examines her life and realizes that she’s in a rut. She has her “dream job” but realizes that it really isn’t the stuff of the dreams she wishes to have. She’s single, not by choice, but because she cannot seem to meet a guy who isn’t a total dillwad or is more committed to his job than a relationship with her. She’s rarely inspired to paint anymore, and that’s her true passion. Janice works herself into burnout, and decides shit has to change and get real. She cuts out little luxuries, cuts back on her whimsy, and saves enough money to go to Paris with her traveling friend. For two years. Two years is a good chunk of time to get your groove back, and Janice does it in sensible fashion.

Upon arriving in Paris, Janice undergoes a transformation and decides that she’s done- with her life in the US, with disguising her true passion with a high profile routine job, with the dead-end relationships. She meets Christophe, the cute French butcher, a few days into her visit.  Her typical luck, the dude doesn’t speak any English whatsoever. Despite this (or maybe because), they manage to get to know one another, and it develops into a whirlwind romance. Janice quickly realizes that she has no desire to come back from her sojourn into Gay Paree. The question is- how is it possible to uproot your entire life to stay at your ideal vacation spot? Is it possible? Does she stay? Does she go? Is Christophe “The One”? Do either of them ever learn to speak the other’s language, or is it all love, sign language style? You need to read it to find out.

Most of us have had these crises of the soul in our lives. For whatever reason, the age of 30 seems to bring about myriad complaints, whether it’s midlife crisis, soulmate stasis, health dystopia, or in some, a realization of things not being as hunky-dory as one would hope it is. It was the case with Janice as well.  I have one friend who I passed this onto because shortly before I started this book, we had a discussion about her feeling that way. Then the book. The book inspired me to give it to her because as much as I enjoyed it, I thought she would not only dig the message, but also be inspired to do what she needs to do to find her balance. Janice’s voice in the book is incredibly down-to-earth and she had many issues, monetary and monotony, that most of us currently have or had, but she finally had enough. At some point, we all have our breaking point, and Janice had hers. And she made it work for her. I hope this book does well and I hope it inspires change to those who really are seeking it.

~ by generationgbooks on February 10, 2014.

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