Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Return to Paris, Colette Rossant

The windows in my study are wide open; I am looking down at the garden. The cherry tree is in full bloom and from above it looks like a very light white cloud. I remember when we planted it thirty years ago. Juliette, my daughter, wanted a small cherry tree for her birthday. We planted what we believed was a miniature cherry tree. To our surprise it grew nearly sixty feet high and produced great, dark Bing cherries. Juliette loves the tree and thinks that when and if we sell the house, she will cut down the tree and use its wood to make furniture.

Wow, that beginning is just typical of people. If you can't have something anymore, you have to destroy it. Anyway...

A young Colette Rossant returned to Paris after living in Egypt. Her mother left her behind to live with her stern grandmother. But in Paris, Colette's sense begin to awaken. She is taken under the wing of Georgette, the cook, and introduced to the city's markets and French cooking, which she quickly grows to love. This memoir accounts her life from when she arrived in Paris to when she eventually married an American, scandalizing her family.

Rossant's prose was very terse and abrupt. It took some getting used to, but then it was good. I was really struck by how cruelly she was treated by her grandmother. I mean, I'm sure her grandmother loved Colette in her own way, but she sure didn't know how to show it! There are also a lot of great recipes included throughout the book (Rossant became a chef), and I liked the descriptions of various foods and dishes. And of Paris.

Read Return to Paris:
  • if you like memoirs
  • if you like cooking
  • if you like food books
227 pages.
Very Good! I would recommend this book!

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