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BOOK REVIEW: HUNGRY WOMAN IN PARIS
BY JOSEFINA LOPEZ
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This book is a journey for one female named Canela who goes thru a crisis, similar to a man’s mid life crisis. She has a falling out with her Editor, argues with her fiancé’, and tries to escape the haunting death of her cousin, Luna. Throughout the book, you get a glimpse of her illegal immigration status in the United States and how she disagreed with her mother on what she should do with her life. Canela has a very low self-esteem and it affects her family life. Her mother would belittle her for making mistakes in the kitchen and Canela carried this shadow over her head for a really long time. In a sense, she runs away from it all to Paris, were she and her fiancé, Armando would have gone for their honeymoon.
When Canela meets up with a friend in Paris, she finds out about a cooking school, Le Coq Rouge. In the beginning, she signs up for it just to kill time, to sort out what she wants to do with her life. In the long run, she needs this experience so that she can grow to be individual, instead of doing what everybody thinks she should do. While at the school, she has explicit sexual escapades with a man from the cooking school, Henry. He introduces her to a crazy world of swingers and she quickly realizes this is not for her. In between, there are a couple of other men that she has a tryst with. In the end, she realizes this was just what she needed to make her realize that she didn’t need anybody and that she could be content by being alone.
As she graduates from the cooking school, this act lifts her self-esteem level and makes her have more confidence in herself. It wasn’t just cooking, but being appreciated for doing a job well done. The turning point is when Henry cooks her a celebratory dish, and nobody had ever done that for her. As she returns to the United States, she realizes she had grown from the experience.
I really enjoyed this book and liked the glossary of terms in the back with Spanish and French words. It came in handy. The sexual escapades were really explicit - therefore, this novel is more geared for a mature reader.
REVIEWED BY LAURA GOODWIN
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WITHOUT PERMISSION OF THE REVIEWER, LAURA GOODWIN
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