Almost French

by Sarah Turnbull

Reviewed by Polly Cannie

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Almost frenchAlmost French is an entertaining and heart-warming story of Australian journalist Sarah Turnbull who is most definitely a fish out of water and trying to blend into one of the most romantic cities in the world. Her transformation into Parisienne chic from Aussie Bushwacker mode begins from the moment she arrives at Paris Orly to meet up with a suave French guy she met on her travels, and will appeal to the latest generation of Francophiles dreaming of starting a new life in France. Sarah’s story is a witty account of her new life in Paris as she tries to make friends, with various degrees of success and failure, among her boyfriend’s bon chic bon genre set and gain acceptance into his family; cope with smart Parisian dinner parties (starting at bedtime, soooo formal, with endless courses and serious conversations) and cocktail parties (where the drinks and nibbles are to be seen but not on any account consumed, unless your name is Sarah, of course!) as well as trying to become established in the world of freelance journalism and nagging her now live-in boyfriend to move to a more ‘happening’ quartier of the capital. Life is beyond hectic, but finally Sarah succeeds in becoming Almost French after she masters the language, charms the natives, gets to grips with the etiquette, learns what and what not to wear (don’t even THINK about wearing tracky bottoms in Paris, not even for the morning sprint to the boulangerie) and after she acquires the ultimate must-have accessory of the girl about town, a much admired West Highland pooch with attitude called Maddie.

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