I just read a reader review (concerning my memoir) on Amazon, and I’m really pleased with it. (below)
Why? Because the reader addresses the issue that lies at the core of this family saga: the breakdown of family after the death of the parents. This subject matter is common, but rarely talked about.
Yesterday, I was lunching with my Franco-Vietnamese colleague, Thanh. He came to France with his mother and seven brothers and sisters in the 1970s when he was a boy. They were a refugee family from Saigon (today called Ho Chi Minh City) escaping the horrors of the Vietnam war. The Red Cross took the family under its wing and provided the young Thanh and his brothers and sisters with a good education. With their mother, they settled in the north of France. She was the cement that unified the family. But when she died, the family broke up.
“Out of your seven siblings,” I asked him, “do you still have relations with any of them? Do they all still live in France?”
He replied that one brother moved to Quebec a long time ago, but the others are scattered around France. He might see one or two of them once a year, but that’s about it.
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Here is Kathrin Spinnler’s review –
Reviewed in the United States on December 4, 2022
The book is split up into three parts and chronicles Juliet’s early life, her first few visits to Europe, and how she ultimately ends up in Paris. The book explores many topics, including how Parisian society differs from what the author knew growing up and how life changes after a devastating blow like the loss of a loved one.
As an expat myself, I can relate to a lot of what Juliet writes in her memoir. She captures the freedom, loneliness, exhilaration, and pain of moving to a different culture and settling far away from family.
I also empathized with her inheritance situation, which is eerily similar to what happened in my own family. I’m so glad that Juliet goes into this topic in her book because I believe that inheritance theft is much more common than many of us realize.
I thoroughly recommend An Accidental Parisian to anyone who has ever spent time in a different country or would like to learn more about expat life.