We’ll Always Have Paris, Trying and Failing to Be French, by Emma Beddington


I’ve been meaning to pop this book up for weeks now, life got in the way.

We’re huge fans of Emma Beddington’s blog Belgian Waffle and have been since we started TWR. She wrote it anonymously to start with (it was a ‘thing’ with bloggers to be slightly secret about your identity, way back) and hooked me in fast with its honest mix of humour and pathos about the everyday life of a working mum with two boys, living in Belgium.

Her beautifully articulated sense of exasperation, bafflement and frequent exhaustion, mixed in with the laugh-out-loud domestic moments of life with two young sons, resonated with me. After reading particularly sad posts, I often felt like hopping on the next Eurostar to Brussels to give her a big hug. She is also the reason I spend far too much time on the internet watching baby owls in nests or small elephants sitting on people.

The book, her first, is tagged as being a memoir about her failure to be as chic and elegant as the French, but really, it’s about coming to terms with grief.

I don’t want to spoil it for you, so wont explain further, but it is a funny, poignant meander through her love affair with France, it’s stylish but often terrifying women folk and its indisputably fabulous patisserie heritage. Layered on top is a quietly insightful look at how we women balance motherhood, careers and the tragic stuff life can throw at us, all while staying sane and balanced. Or not, as is often the case.

It’s a great read, I urge you to buy it if you are at any point on the long journey from birthing children to turning their empty bedrooms into a lucrative Air B&B space. Can we have recipes in the next one please Emma?

We’ll Always Have Paris: Trying and Failing to Be French

Belgian Waffle here

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