The book isn't quite what it was marketed to be. Woman decides to change her life and begin living in Paris part-time. Isn't it great? She gets to discover a new language, a new life, new people, etc. while learning about herself and coming to terms with her life, her career, her history, etc.
Yeeeeah, not so much. I'll admit that perhaps I remembered the marketing incorrectly but I thought it was a much more upbeat book. That it was not is not a problem but in this case it's a detriment.
Author Anselmo begins the book by talking about the relationship she had with her mother. When mama was happy, everything was great. When her mama wasn't happy, nobody was happy. Her mother appears to have had some sort of issue although what it is appears to be not named (maybe not identified at all by the mother or the author). But this sets the tone of the book: the author grew up with an apparently co-dependent (personally I think there's far more to it than that but I'm not a doctor) mother who she is unable to let go of even after her mother's death.
Coupled with the changes in the magazine/media industry, she is at a crossroads of sorts. So she buys a Paris apartment.
It seems like a whimsical sort of purchase and we then learn what it's like to buy housing in Paris, the differences in culture, language, food, etc. as these stories often go. Some of it is quite hilarious, some of it is cringe-worthy, some of it isn't interesting at all. And beyond that point it just got a bit tedious. It was hard to sympathize with someone who clearly has the money/flexibility in work/time to travel back and forth when really, what perhaps actually needed was/is therapy instead of thinking traveling back and forth would help. It just got hard to relate to after being in a friendship with someone who was similar: she kept moving to a different place every few years after college partially due to life circumstances (graduation, contract job ended, relationship failed, graduate school, new job in a new country, etc.) She said it was because she loved traveling but just like with this author I suspect there's something else to it that neither admit to.
That said, the book does have its positive points. The author seems to be a bit obnoxious but her story was still intriguing. The very first few pages had me identifying with the author more deeply than I had expected. It was still enough to keep me at least skimming to see how it resolves (if at all).
Overall, though, I wouldn't recommend it. I enjoy travelogues but other books have done it much better. The Goodreads ratings are on the mark and I kind of regret buying this as a bargain buy/used. If you enjoyed 'Eat, Pray, Love' (which is mentioned in the flap) then this might be a really good fit for you. Otherwise, library if you're really interested or a bargain buy if you really want.