Sunday, March 16, 2014

Paris Adieu by Rozsa Gaston

Paris Adieu by Rozsa Gaston 
Paperback, paperback, 280 pages
Published July 24th 2012 by CreateSpace 

The story of Ava coming of age in Paris.

The first time Ava Fodor visits Paris as a nineteen-year old au pair, she has no idea who she is. Paris introduces Ava to the type of woman she'd like to become. Her French boyfriend introduces her to the concept of being comfortable in her own skin. She's intrigued. If only she knew how...

When she gets into Yale, she returns home, but four years later she's back for an encounter with a Frenchman that awakens her to womanhood. If only she could stay...

Five years later, Ava returns to Paris as a singer/pianist. She meets Arnaud, a foreign correspondent, who captures her heart, but tortures her with long absences. While he's away, she throws herself into songwriting where she achieves an authenticity she doesn't feel onstage. As a performer, she is turning into someone she doesn't recognize. With the help of Arnaud's childhood friend Pierre, Ava discovers her true self – both in her personal and performing life. She realizes Paris is not the right place for her ultimately; neither is Arnaud the right man for her. For the first time she understands how to authentically be herself, comfortable in her own skin. Returning to New York armed with the lessons Paris has taught her she bids adieu to Arnaud, Pierre and her very first love – the City of Light. But will the one man who truly understands her follow?

My thoughts about Paris Adieu ~~ 

While reading Paris Adieu, I really felt like I was living in Paris, which would be a a wonderful thing, don't you think? This is a story of Ava, coming of age in Paris. She first lives there as a young au pair, just learning about life, love, and herself. Then we go back to Paris with Ava, four years later and again five years after that. We experience her life and her loves right along with her.
'It was hell not to have a plan at nineteen.' 
The reader definitely gets to see and feel how Ava grows to become her own person and we watch her change from an inexperienced young woman, living her life as she thinks others want her to, to a mature woman who does what she wants and goes after what makes her happy.
'Men don't fall in love with a woman who is perfect. They fall in love with a woman who is specific. A woman who is comfortable with herself can be herself specifically.' 
I enjoyed watching Ava grow and learn how to get what she wants out of life. We really do see a difference in her attitude about life and love with each segment of the story, as she grows and experiences each different stage of her life.
'The phrase 'fake it till you make it' suddenly sky-wrote itself across my brain. I saw its meaning in a whole, new light. It wasn't about being honest or genuine or not. It was about knowing where you were going, then pretending you were already there while you were on your way. Or in my case, still in the starting gate.' 
Rozsa has written a wonderful Parisian story with just enough local culture and French language to make the reader feel like they themselves are living there. And it was enough to reaffirm the fact that I would love to visit Paris one day. But there is also the emotional story of growth, change, and maturity that entices the reader as well.

The sequel to Paris Adieu has just come out, Black is Not a Color. I am excited to see where Ava goes from here.

About the author

Rozsa Gaston writes playful books on serious matters. Women getting what they want out of life is one of them. Rozsa studied European intellectual history at Yale, then received her master’s degree in international affairs at Columbia. In between, she worked as a singer/pianist in New York, London, Paris, Tokyo, Corfu, and Abu Dhabi. She currently lives in Connecticut with her family.

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