Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Book Review: Bonjour 40: A Paris travel log by Karen A. Chance

Bonjour 40: A Paris travel log (40 years, 40 days, 40 seconds)
Publish Date: October 9, 2011
Ebook, 135 pages 
Non-fiction, Memoir, Travel

My Review:
Bonjour 40 made me want to plan a trip for my 40th birthday in a few years, it was just that compelling.  However I don't think I will be able to do that with my kids still in school and my job and my health so I will have to satisfy myself with enjoying Karen's memoir of her time in Paris when she turned 40.

I think one wonderful thing to take away from this novel as a woman especially is that we deserve to fulfill our dreams as long as we are responsible about it.  Karen makes it clear up front that she was responsible about it.  She was able to put her job on hold.  She had saved money and she did not have children to leave behind for 40 days (not that you couldn't if you did it in a way that was responsible of course).  She does have her partner Ted, but he was supportive of her and he came over to spend time with her as well toward the end of her stay.  But she did it, she fulfilled one of her dreams to actually live in Paris for a time.  To stay in an apartment and immerse herself in the life of Paris.  I loved this memoir because her discoveries were so heartfelt and true.  She's so fun and honest in the book and that 's what makes it memorable to me.  She writes what comes to mind each day, and it's so easy to read and feel like you are right there with her.

Another great thing about the book is her descriptions.  I've never been to Paris, but between her descriptions and the photos included in the book, I feel like I've been there.  I love her observations on everything from the dogs to how people dress to even the bathroom habits.  She made the mundane interesting and intriguing to me and the interesting even more interesting.

The book reads quick and easily, as she expounds on her blog entries from her trip with some additional facts and from time to time essays on various topics that I found captivating.  I read the book in two sittings and really enjoyed my time spent with Karen and in Paris.  I hope this is a great start for her in her writing career and hope to read more from her in the future.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:
If Karen A. Chase absolutely had to turn forty, she decided she could do it gracefully in Paris… for nearly forty days. What began as a blog to communicate with friends and family, became a travel journal filled with over a months’ worth of humorous and insightful glimpses into her Paris adventures, each of which could be read in about forty seconds. Journal entries are interspersed with Chase's own inspiring photography. Additional, longer stories richly fill in details allowing readers to reflect upon her experiences with food, travel, photography, Parisians, writing, and love in the City of Lights. Through her Parisian- and self-exploration, comes a book that brings to life the richness of Paris as seen through the eyes of a romantic travel junkie. Chase shows readers the joys of turning 40, and with her magical view of Paris, they'll be ready to board a plane before they've turned the last page.

About the Author (from her website): 
Born in Canada, Karen traveled by car, trailer and motor home with her family, touring over 40 states and nine provinces. Karen has lived in the United States since 1990, since she first began to study advertising art. After more than 15 years as a professional graphic designer and copywriter, she began her own branding and design studio. While building her company, she branched into a secondary career as a freelance writer for clients and as a contributing writer for national and local publications such as Bella Magazine, The Richmond Times Dispatch and HOW Design Magazine Online. Her personal writing includes non–fiction, historical fiction and poetry. Bonjour 40 is her first book. She lives in Virginia with her partner, Ted, and their two cats.


FTC Information: I received this book through BookSparks PR for an honest review.