Paris Dreaming – A Book Review


Paris dreamingNow that I’m down to counting sleeps until our next trip to France, it seems very appropriate to be reviewing Katrina’s Lawrence’s Paris Dreaming. After all, I’m dreaming of Paris almost constantly at the moment.

Interestingly enough though, I really resisted reading this book, which was released back in November 2017. I have no idea why but I assumed that I wouldn’t like it. Perhaps I’ve overdosed on ‘not so great’ Paris themed memoirs over the years? Whatever the reason, I certainly took my time getting around to reading Paris Dreaming.

Which is kind of ironic because from the moment I picked this book up, I could not put it down.

Those of you who read Distant Francophile regularly have probably guessed that I generally enjoy reading. Especially if the book is on either of my favourite topics – France or style. I’m equally happy with hardbacks or e-books and I have a fair library of audio books as well, just to keep me occupied while I’m travelling for work. But Paris Dreaming is the first book to prompt me to buy both the electronic and audio versions so that I could keep ‘reading’ while I was driving to my day job.

That probably gives you an idea of how much I enjoyed Paris Dreaming. But just to ensure that there is no doubt, I’m prepared to declare that I absolutely loved this book.

Title: Paris Dreaming – What the City of Light taught me about life, love & lipstick.

Author: Katrina Lawrence

Published: 2017 by Harpers Collins Publishers Australia. E-book, 368 pages and Audiobook.

What I Liked About Paris Dreaming:

  • I found Katrina Lawrence’s writing style extremely appealing. I felt like I could have been chatting with one of my girlfriends. The fact that Katrina is an Australian most likely contributed to that feeling. Even when she was sharing her deepest secrets, she didn’t take herself too seriously. And a little internet research confirmed that Lawrence is somewhere around my age which I’m sure added to the attraction from my perspective.
  • The ‘Beauty Editor’ angle. Katrina is a highly respected, very experienced  fragrance and beauty journalist and I really enjoyed exploring Paris from that point of view.
  • The structure of the memoir. The book documents many of Katrina’s most important life moments with Paris as the backdrop. We see Paris through Katrina’s eyes as a little girl on her very first visit with her parents, as an independent young woman in search of her path and finally as a mother, introducing the City of Light to her own children.
  • The way Katrina wove both literature and history into her story. This ensured the book had an additional dimension that is so often lacking in memoirs.
  • The gorgeous pink cover.  With tones of rose and gold it is just so pretty!

What I Wasn’t So Sure About:

  • If I’m being really honest, there was a section about three-quarters of the way into Paris Dreaming that I found relatively slow. I could see where the book was heading and I really wanted to get there!

Have you read Paris Dreaming? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? I’d love for you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

And until next time – au revoir.


Please note: This is an unsolicited post and no compensation of any kind has been received from Katrina Lawrence or the publisher.

About Janelle

I believe that everyone can bring French elegance and inspiration to their life, no matter where they happen to live in the world. They only need to learn a secret or two to be on their way. When you join the Distant Francophile community, you’ll have access to the secrets that allow you to bring the best of the French lifestyle into your everyday life. I’m talking about things like style advice, recipes and book reviews. And you’ll also receive regular doses of French inspiration, as well as travel and packing tips galore.

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2 thoughts on “Paris Dreaming – A Book Review

  • Alisa

    Thanks for this!
    I have about given up on the flood of mediocre Paris-themed books, blogs, and magazine articles…so many of them seem to be just cashing in on Paris’ ‘moment’ and rarely have anything unique to offer. Alas, I am even seeing that in books published in French in France: quite a few superficial ‘how to be Parisian’ guidelines for people who are French but not Parisian. (Some of these are wonderfully tongue in cheek, others are not.)
    This one seems special, though. I am especially attracted to the part about her formative-years time to Paris; I know that my au-pair year in Paris has colored my whole life since.
    Looking forward to a good read!