Winter in the City of Light by Sue Harper

Written by on December 13, 2019 in Book Reviews And Interviews

Jacket cover of book Winter in the City of Light by Sue HarperAfter years having a successful career in Canada, retirement ought to have been something the author, Sue Harper should have looked forward to. However, work-life has structure and purpose; what would life be like without it? Sue’s partner Bonnie, an artist who retired 6 month earlier, was happily enjoying the opportunities this stage in her life had to offer. But Sue was to find that her transfer was not to be as easy. She admits to being a driven, obsessive and neurotic personality with a successful career in teaching and writing. However, having watched her parents’ non-retirement, now that it was her turn, she was determined to make the most of her chances and of the years ahead.

Thus begins this story.

Winter in the city of light review

A chronicle which is not only a celebration of Paris, its people, architecture and history, it is also a testament to the strength of resolve of the author as she takes readers along on her personal journey of self-discovery. Whilst looking back over her career she also includes snippets of priceless information gathered en route about the way we cope with the time that retirement offers, the freedom it gives us, and the opportunities it opens up.

Her own retirement? Well, partner Bonnie was invited onto an art course in Paris. The pair embraced the opportunity and it with great excitement moved into an apartment in the Montmartre district in the heart of the city. Bonnie settled happily into her course and Sue, well she struggled. She tried valiantly to face the challenges that living in an enormous unknown city bring, surrounded by people speaking a different language and having to learn a new way of living.

Discovering Dalida

She discovered that a famous singer named Dalida lived in the next building on the Rue d’Orchampt. She found herself listening to guides from around the world explaining Dalida’s life and death to tourists below her window. And in this legendary neighbourhood, the author found herself fascinated by what she discovered about Dalida. Inspired, she began to explore the city more intently, and from her adventures, the reader is treated to a truly amazing insight into the wonders of this beautiful city and especially the Louvre. With her self-confidence growing she enjoyed extensive explorations of its wonderful exhibits, and through this she gained independence, and as a result began discovering herself.

Through this self-discovery came the realisation that although she had said she wanted to write in her retirement, and indeed she had during her career written textbooks, actually she wanted to write purely for pleasure, to enjoy the creativity of writing for writing’s sake.

And so on their return to Canada she enrolled in a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Non-fiction in Nova Scotia, declaring that she wanted to write a literary travel book about Paris. The couple lived on campus, and on the last day of the course Bonnie found that she had been accepted on two more art courses. They flew back to Paris the very next day, settled into an apartment and Sue began to write…

What a story it is! I believe it will not only appeal to those who already love, or want to discover the magic of Paris, Montmartre, and the mysteries of the Louvre, it is also an incredibly candid account of a journey of discovery. Highly Recommended!

5 Stars.

Available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple Books, Kobo and more…

Related Articles

Review of Finding Paris: A Novel by Joanne Kimes

The magic of Paris weaves its spell on two unsuspecting American women. A charming, authentic and heart-warming tale that takes the reader along on their journey… Finding Paris: A Novel This wonderful story is a true voyage of discovery for two American women. From very different walks of life they meet at a French class. […]

Continue Reading

The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux by Samantha Verant

Sophie, a French-born but lived most of her life in the US chef, finds life really isn’t a dream come true. When an ex-boyfriend conspires against her, her whole life is turned upside down. Sophie needs to get a grip of herself if she’s to avoid a life doomed to fail on all levels. But […]

Continue Reading

SEARCHING for FAMILY and TRADITIONS at the FRENCH TABLE BOOK TWO 

SEARCHING for FAMILY and TRADITIONS at the FRENCH TABLE BOOK TWO by Carole Bumpus. An amazing culinary adventure through north-west France. This book is so many things, a travelogue, a memoir, but most of all a wonderful celebration French gastronomy. I loved Carole Bumpus’ first book in this series. A celebration of French food, traditions and […]

Continue Reading

Paris, Part Time by Lisa Baker Morgan

Lisa Baker Morgan, the author of this memoir is a talented and accomplished woman on several levels. She graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Southern California. She has a Juris Doctorate and a culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts. She’s an author and has a travel […]

Continue Reading

Passion for Provence by Gayle Smith Padgett

This book is truly a celebration of the south of France, its land and seascapes, people, gastronomy, and traditions. When American author Gayle met Ralph, it was love at first sight. When Ralph was offered a job in Heidelberg, Germany, they decided to marry. The move to Germany gave them easy access to France. They […]

Continue Reading

Subscribe

If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.

Top