This feel good memoir by Vicki Lesage is not the typical “American Girl in Paris” read. Instead, Lesage presents her vulnerabilities, her hopes and all of her successes in a conversational fashion, while also including details on her favorite haunts to catch a drink and her frequent mishaps with having too much to drink. Confessions of a Paris Party Girl does not read as a story of a drunken party girl as the title would leave a casual reader to believe and instead is a very real tale of a woman trying to find her footing abroad, while also trying to discover important facts about herself.
Vicki decides to move to France and take her chances on a sublet apartment while maintaining a freelance career in the United States. Vicki seems unsure of her purpose in France, other than baguettes and wine, until she meets fellow expats and befriends a few local bartenders. The title of the book is clearly pulled from the fact that Vicki and her friends enjoy to drink and party, but the main story has more to do with a young woman coming into her own far away from her hometown of St. Louis and adapting to life abroad, instead of just a girl that moves to France ready to party. Confessions of a Paris Party Girl is poorly named, because while the book rings true and discusses intimate details of her life, Vicki does not remain a “party girl” throughout the book. Struggling with the idea of dating or even settling down does not make for “confessions” of a party girl, or any girl, but rather just an adult idea in a more exotic setting to be drunk and trying to find a taxi in. Vicki is the girl that you absolutely want to be friends with, in America or France, but “party girl” section of the memoir only seems to set the stage for settling down section of the story.
The book is funny, a bit predictable and peppered with plenty of French phrases, locations and mishaps to make it authentic. Confessions of a Paris Party Girl also contains gaps in the story where certain situations appear to be relevant, but end up being as insignificant as Vicki changing apartments every so often.
Author Vicki Lesage fully leaves nothing to chance and has no shame in sharing embarrassing stories that make her relatable. However, when the story suddenly shifts to “I have to stop partying and settle down”, it’s clear to see the direction that Vicki is moving in Paris, which also again, reverts to the fact that the story is not properly named for the outcome of the story. Quickly, almost without explanation, Vicki moves from being a nanny, to a three year relationship, to single and then stumbling upon her eventual French husband. There are really no “confessions”” ever to be had because the entire book is honest and forthright. The memoir seems to include the exact details that the author saw fit to include, with witty footnotes that act at times, as further explanations for perilous activities, almost as a disclosure. The story is fun and enjoyable throughout, but there also seems to be a certain level of predictability that makes the book read more like a novel vs. an actual memoir.
Lauren Cannavino is a graduate student, freelance writer, wine lover, and avid reader. Random musings can be found over at www.goldiesays.wordpress.com.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Vicki Lesage. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.