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Review: Hungry Woman in Paris

April 4, 2009


Canela is unhappy.  She and her fiancee have just broken off their engagement because they couldn’t agree on the menu for their reception and her favorite cousin has just committed suicide.  Canela remembers that she has the tickets for her honeymoon in Paris and decides to go there on her own.  After her time in the Honeymoon Suite runs out, she stays with a friend.  Her friend explains to her that she can only stay in France for 3 months without a carte de sejour.  Canela decides to enroll in culinary school since they’ll help her get her carte de sejour. Canela’s friend returns to the U. S. when her mother becomes ill, so Canela finds herself alone in a foreign city.  While she doesn’t flourish at cooking school she manages to graduate and learns a lot about herself and life along the way.

A Hungry Woman in Paris by Josefina López is the story of Canela’s struggle to find her place in the world.  She has to decide if she will succumb to the role that is expected of her or choose to be true to herself and her passions.  Since Josefina has been an immigrant in two different societies (the U. S. and France) she does a fantastic job of describing what it’s like when you don’t feel like you fit in.  Since we lived in France for two years, I really enjoyed the descriptions of Paris and the carte de sejour stories.  I think the ending of the book sums it up very well:

Everything is about food and hunger, whether it is hunger for the body or hunger for the soul.  As long as I am alive I will always be hungry for revolution, for justice and truth, but I am no longer hungry for my soul the way I used to be.  I have plenty of beautiful memories and life-inspiring moments to nourish my soul for many lifetimes. . . I hope this was delicious.

There are some graphic sexual scenes in this book that some readers may find offensive.

Josefina López is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and poet.  She is the co-author of the movie Real Women Have Curves.  This is her first novel, and she has another one in the works.  You can hear her on Blog Talk Radio.

27 Comments leave one →
  1. April 4, 2009 7:45 am

    She must not stay alone in Paris for the entire novel, eh? This sounds really good and I’m looking forward to talking to you about it at lunch today. I’m really looking forward to it, Kathy!

  2. April 4, 2009 8:52 am

    So jealous that I’m missing lunch with you guys! I hope you have fun! I really enjoyed the BlogTalk radio show with Ms. Lopez. Can’t wait to read the book!

  3. April 4, 2009 9:16 am

    Sounds interesting. But I wonder why so many novels have graphic sex scenes. I don’t think you need them! Look how much women love Jane Eyre.

  4. April 4, 2009 9:28 am

    Paris and food, sounds like a great combination to me. I can’t wait to read this one!

  5. April 4, 2009 10:32 am

    Nice review Kathy. This wasn’t my favorite book but I did like it. Some of the scenes were a bit much for me but I did like Canela.

  6. April 4, 2009 10:58 am

    This sounds like a book that I would enjoy. I’ve been to Paris and loved it and when you combine that with food…it sounds perfect.

  7. April 4, 2009 11:24 am

    This book sounds interesting, thanks for the great review!

  8. April 4, 2009 11:32 am

    Sounds like a good one for a foodie like me!

  9. stacybuckeye permalink
    April 4, 2009 11:46 am

    I hope to travel to France in the next few years. This looks good 🙂

  10. April 4, 2009 12:03 pm

    This sounds really interesting. I’ve always wished I could just pick up and move anywhere around the globe, start a brand new life…and then my practical side kicks in.

  11. April 4, 2009 12:06 pm

    This sounds like it might be a fun book!

  12. April 4, 2009 12:13 pm

    Jennifer just had to rub it in, didn’t she? 🙂 Oh well hopefully I’ll get to have lunch with you in May!

    Have you read Trail of Crumbs yet? Similar theme, I think.

  13. April 4, 2009 12:20 pm

    My sister is in culinary school right now and I am amassing a stack of books about culinary school (there are a lot of them — popular theme) for her birthday. I think she would like this one. Thanks for the tip!

  14. April 4, 2009 2:00 pm

    I am glad you enjoyed this one, Kathy. It sounds like a good one.

  15. thekoolaidmom permalink
    April 4, 2009 2:49 pm

    That’s cool that you lived in France, it gives your review a very unique perspective. It sounds like a sweet kind of book.

    BTW, I’ve loosed Zombie Chickens on you 😉

    Bring on the Zombie Chickens!!!

  16. April 4, 2009 4:19 pm

    I like the sound of this one. If it’s even half as good as the curve movie it will be a winner.

  17. April 4, 2009 4:37 pm

    Even though I don’t speak French at all, I believe I’d like to go to Paris sometime during my life!

  18. April 4, 2009 5:03 pm

    Nice review! I like the cover – it looks like she’s holding someone’s (her own?) heart in her hands.

  19. April 4, 2009 8:26 pm

    Great review, Kathy. I really enjoyed the call the other day and I am looking so forward to reading the book.

  20. April 4, 2009 10:27 pm

    I’ve seen a few reviews of this book around as well, and it sounds like a good one…though I have never been to Paris before.

  21. April 5, 2009 12:57 am


    I gave you an award – You can go here to collect it!

  22. April 5, 2009 9:27 am

    I would love to read “Hungry Woman in Paris” by Josefina Lopez. Thanks for your great review and the radio link.

  23. April 5, 2009 2:33 pm

    Kathy – thanks for sharing – I think the book sounds great and will be adding it to my ever-expanding wish list. Kind of reminded me a bit of Under the Tuscan Sun.

    🙂 Wendi

  24. April 6, 2009 1:34 pm

    I have been reading quite a few reviews for this one. I have it sitting on my shelf. I think I’ll read it soon.

  25. April 16, 2009 2:23 pm

    I have this one on my shelf. I love that ending is just scruptious.. and pretty cool.

  26. April 23, 2009 2:45 pm

    I love food and learning about other cultures. I’ll have to check this one out.

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