A Stranger in Paris written by Karen Webb, publisher Impress Books, is available NOW in ebook and paperback format.
Firstly, I’d like to express my apologies to the author, publisher and tour organisers for the delay in posting my review. I hold my hand up and admit I had inadvertently forgotten to write the tour in my diary. However, I do have my review to share with you now. I had reviewed the book last year and I’m delighted to reshare my thoughts.
‘A Stranger in Paris is everything you want from a memoir: it’s honest, brave, witty, very funny and ultimately rather wise.’ – Amanda Hodgkinson, author of 22 Britannia Road
Aberystwyth University, 1986 – and another year of torrential rain. Bad hair days and a rugby-fanatic fiancé are part of her drab existence so who can blame Karen for falling into the arms of a handsome Parisian?
Hastening across The Channel with stars in her eyes, she speeds to the city of light only to discover that her lover is nowhere to be found. Nor what he seemed.
Life takes a turn for the better when her old school-friend Jessica makes a dramatic entrance, encouraging Karen on a downward spiral of adventure – including a brush with the Parisian underworld which places both girls in peril.
Karen’s childhood is a constant anguish reminding her that when things go wrong, not everyone has a home to return to, as the dark shadows of the past merge with her troubled French life.
Where to go, when there’s no going home?
Based on a true story, A Stranger in Paris is the first of a three-part series. This honest memoir recounts with humour and poignancy the search for love and family.
To buy link: https://amzn.to/3iw6qTH
I voluntarily reviewed an arc of this book. All opinions are my own and no content may be copied. However, authors and publishers may use elements of my reviews for quotes.
There’s a kind of romanticism about living in Paris walking amongst the chic Parisian women and viewing the city life from the many cafes. I love books set in France and especially those based in Paris so I jumped at the chance of reading Karen Webb’s novel ‘A Stranger in Paris’, which is book 1 in her trilogy ‘A French Life’. The trilogy is based on the author’s diary entries written at the time on her own life experiences when as a young graduate from Aberystwyth University Karen went on a ‘wild goose chase’ across the channel in pursuit of the man she fell in love with whilst at university.
Reading this book of the author’s memoirs felt very much like a work of fiction as you are swept away with this young woman’s quest for the romantic idealism of a life cosied up with your lover in an art deco styled apartment overlooking the Eiffel Tower. What transpired was far from Karen’s dreams …
Once Karen arrived in Paris she realised she needed work, a roof over her head and she then had to find her lover. This was such a brave move by Karen with her head in the clouds she was soon brought back down to reality.
We follow Karen’s journey in Paris of finding her own feet and learning to become independent. Life was to throw many obstacles in her way that were so unexpected, a little dangerous and at times you couldn’t help but smile at the chaos around her.
I really enjoyed reading A Stranger in Paris it was an enlightening coming of age story that will have you packing your bags and searching for your passport heading for the city of lights.
I can’t wait for the next instalment in Karen’s memoir as I’m desperate to find what route her life takes next.
About the Author
Karen graduated from Aberystwyth University with a Degree in English Literature. She then moved to Paris, where she worked for 16 years as an English language teacher for business professionals before settling in rural South West France. With few employment opportunities other than stuffing geese or picking melons, she qualified as a licensed real estate agent.
Karen then attended Lancaster University where she graduated with a Masters in Creative Writing in 2015, after which she set up a series of Creative Writing retreats, “A Chapter Away”, inviting world famous authors, literary agents and publishers to teach aspiring novelists. Inspired by the comments of tutors on the memoir writing course, she began “A Stranger in Paris.”
Passionate about theatre, and script-writing, Karen has also written plays, several short stories and a novel – all of which are lurking in the bottom drawer. “A Stranger in Paris” is her first published work, and is the first novel of the trilogy La Vie Française.
Karen now lives in Gascony with her husband and son, and has a grown-up daughter who works in London. Much of her writing is inspired by the North West of England where she grew up, and France which became her country of adoption.