Lisa Anselmo had a good life in New York City. A good job, with family nearby, and regular vacations in Paris. Then her mother passed away from cancer, and Lisa felt utterly unmoored. She reached out to Paris, beginning to spend more time there. The time there helped. Next came the big purchase—her tiny Paris apartment in a neighborhood of locals. Slightly larger than a hotel room, it offered her a home base.

As Anselmo began to split her time between the two cities, she also dug deep into the feelings of grief. She thought about Ma. And looked for a thousand signs from Ma that she was doing the right thing. As much as it seemed to consume her, she was also starting to move forward.

I finished her memoir in two days. It slid down like the perfect wine, accompanied by scintillating company. She writes from the heart, tells charming stories, and keeps her readers anxious to know her next steps.

My conclusions

The element I loved the most in Anselmo’s journey is that the solution doesn’t come in the form of a man, Parisian or otherwise. She has a raft of male friends, and contemplates who might become more. But the solutions are hers and hers alone. She is her own Prince Charming.

The topics move easily from kitchen color and party planning, to job loss and the grieving process. Anselmo bares it all, but still has a sense of fun amidst some dramatic life changes and decisions.

Her writing is crisp and fresh, never maudlin despite the loss she’s coping with. It’s polished and professional, but I felt like her bestie while I was reading. I’ve now stalked her blog, her web series, and the spots she recommends in Paris.

If you’re looking for a grown-up memoir where the author saves herself, this is the ticket. Plus, of course, it’s set in Paris.