“L'Appart: The Delights and Disasters of Making My Paris Home” by David Lebovitz follows his Parisian life as he goes about purchasing an apartment and has to navigate the French way of life and all the bureaucracy as an American ex-pat abroad. I enjoy reading travel memoirs, and this was an interesting memoir. If you have never lived in France, Lebovitz is pretty descriptive in describing what purchasing real estate is like: the cheapest apartments (the ones everyone want) tend to be formerly the maid’s quarters and are in buildings without elevators or have a whole floor sharing a bathroom. Sales of property, particularly the best property, are discreet and rarely advertised. Much if not all of the paperwork is not digitized, and there’s a whole uniquely French style of agreeing on a price and closing the sale.
Lebovitz writes in a witty and humorous way, recounting his French life with an eye towards details and unique personalities. I know he had written several previous memoirs about his life in Paris, but this is the first one I’ve read. I found this book to be entertaining, and am curious about reading some of his previous works now. I also liked the recipes that end each chapter. That was an interesting touch. Overall, if you’re a Francophile or simply enjoy memoirs about living abroad, this one is an enjoyable read. This book was provided by Blogging for Books. Published by Crown. 368 pages.