cover image My (Part-Time) Paris Life: How Running Away Brought Me Home

My (Part-Time) Paris Life: How Running Away Brought Me Home

Lisa Anselmo. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $25.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-250-06747-0

In this enjoyable, self-searching memoir, Anselmo embraces her fears and makes a decision that changes her life. Living in New York and working as a top creative director for Time Inc., she loved her job, which allowed her to travel to Paris regularly. But beneath the polished surface, Anselmo struggled for independence from a controlling mother whom she loved dearly yet who also inhibited her personal growth. When Anselmo’s mother dies from breast cancer, she is shattered; in time, she begins to build a new life for herself. She purchases an apartment in a working class neighborhood of Paris and immerses herself in everyday Parisian life. When her apartment develops what initially seems to be a small leak, Anselmo finds herself caught up in the Byzantine French labor laws, yet the author persists in creating a new home for herself. She makes new friends, improves her French, and starts a blog. Anselmo writes intimately about her complex relationship with her mother and how her fears shaped her view of life. “It was time to stop waiting to live, and to just live. To liberate myself from perfection and put myself out there-flaws, pain, and all.” In the end, this is a sweet and inspiring account of one woman’s taxing yet rewarding search for peace, happiness, and contentment in the City of Light. (Oct.)