Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I See London I See France: Review and Giveaway

"I hadn't made the wrong choice in deciding to stay home with the kids.  Somewhere, though, I had lost myself."

' "It's as if I put on this mom costume nine years ago, and I don't know the person underneath anymore.  What is my passion?  Do I have a passion anymore?  I think I'm lost." '
~ I See London I See France, Paulita Kincer 






After Caroline Sommer's husband of fifteen years, Scott, announces that he's "had enough", he methodically packs a suitcase and leaves her alone at home in Columbus, Ohio, with their three young children, Henry, 5, Maggie, 7, and Jack, 9, and Caroline is understandably distraught and confused.  While Scott is away, Caroline visits her friend, Fiona, and because she's enjoyed traveling abroad before, soon decides to take her children to Europe, and sells the family's minivan in order to have money for the trip.  I See London I See France by Paulita Kincer is set in 2012 (with an epilogue set in 2013) in Ohio and Michigan, as well as in parts of England, Scotland, and France, and it also goes back in time to 1996, to Corisca and Aix en Provence, France, where Caroline worked as an au pair for the children of a French couple, Lisette and Robert.  And it was in 1996 when she first met the couple's friend, Jean-Marc, a handsome Frenchman, who she wishes to see again on her current trip, while she contemplates her marriage and her future.

“Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

I'm not exactly sure why I liked this book so much more than the first one I read by Paulita Kincer, The Summer of France.  I enjoyed that book, but I See London I See France, published in 2013, was a much better read for me.  Ouah!  This book immediately grasped my interest, in the first chapter, and my interest never waned.  Written in the first person, Caroline, 38, is the main character and narrator, and I think that women, and particularly those married with children, will easily relate to her frustrations and joys as a wife and mother.  I See London I See France depicts the very real struggles that many married women face, and those that mothers of young children contend with, and the book seemed emotionally honest to me.  It's also quite sexy and funny at times!  The visit to the nude beach where Caroline feels discomfited is very funny (I would've felt the same way as the modest protagonist).  The main character shares her private thoughts about sex and ruminations about romance in a way that's bound to resonate with many women, and I appreciated her candor.  During her trip with the kids to London, Scotland, Paris, and Provence, she takes them on special excursions to Loch Ness and Monet's Garden (belles descriptions!), and Caroline realizes that she must tend to her own needs as well as those of her children, and that it's up to her to discover a passion, her passion, outside of her children, which will bring her personal fulfillment and happiness.  I read this book quickly--not because I was on a deadline to post my review, but because I was eager to know how things turned out for Caroline.  I cared about this character.  Although she's not perfect, she loves her children, fiercely, and she does think about what's best for them.  Caroline seemed like someone I'd want to be friends with in real life.  Paulita Kincer's writing brought Caroline and her story to life.  C'est un livre extraordinaire!

Nouvelles dieu!  France Book Tours is offering a giveaway for a paperback copy of  I See London I See France (U.S./Canada only).

  • To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment.
  • For an extra chance, leave a comment en français. 
  • For another chance at winning, become a follower of this blog, or let me know that you're already a follower.
  • For an additional chance, post about this giveaway on your blog, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter.

Enter by 5 PM PDT on Monday, March 17.  One winner will be selected randomly and announced on Tuesday, March 18.


Please be sure to visit the others stops on the I See London I See France book tour.  Thanks to Emma from France Book Tours for inviting me to be a part of this tour, and to author Paulita Kincer for sending me a copy of her book.

Merci pour la lecture!

30 comments:

  1. Your review is so beautiful. It made me tear up a little. It's so rewarding as a writer to have people connect to the characters and to feel that "aha" moment. Thanks so much.

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    1. Paulita, thank you very much for stopping by! I enjoyed so much about this book, the setting and especially the character of Caroline, and by the end of your book, I'd shed a few tears.

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  2. I too, loved this book. I read it a month or two ago, it was like a mini-vacation for a few days.

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  3. thanks for your great review! there's a lot going on on France Book Tours, so to have your readers lend directly on the tour, it's here: http://francebooktours.com/2014/01/02/paulita-kincer-on-tour-i-see-london-i-see-france/.
    I thought it was cool you asked comments in French. Je suis curieuse de voir ce que tes lecteurs vont dire! Emma

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  4. Would love to read this book.email follower lomazowr@gmail.com will tweet @rhondareads

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  5. Your review makes me want to start reading immediately.

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  6. What a great review. I don't know how Paulita has time do write and do all she does:) She's like "super woman".

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  7. I really enjoyed this novel as well. It was wonderful to cheer her on to find her own passion. I think so many women feel guilty to want more after they have children and it shouldn't be that way. Being a mom doesn't mean a woman can't be a person as well with hopes, dreams, and passion. Great review

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  8. Wonderful review! I am curious about the passion Caroline found.

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  9. This book sounds wonderful! Great review and thanks for the giveaway.

    yvone473[at]optonline[dot]net

    I'm an old follower and I tweeted @yvonne473

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  10. Sounds like a good read and one many of us will relate to. Informative review as always, good luck to everyone entering the giveaway.

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  11. Thanks for this lovely giveaway and great review. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  12. Jaime lire les romans historiques. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  13. I am an e-mail subscriber. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  14. Amazing and fascinating book which appeals to me. What a wonderful review. Many thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail9dot)com

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  15. J'espere voyager a France et Le Marais a Paris. C'est tres interessante. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  16. I will have to check out her first book too! Great site Suko:)

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  17. I liked her first book. This sounds good as well. Don't count me in as I am overseas.

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  18. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed this book so much! I hope one day to get the chance to visit Europe....what an adventure that would be :)

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  19. Thanks for putting this one on my radar! It sounds really good.

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  20. Sounds like a book I'd enjoy! I love all things France!

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  21. Don't know if this is right or not, but I'll give it a try:
    merci pour l'opportunité de gagner

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  22. I See London I See France sounds like a good one and Caroline sounds like a relateable character. Great review and giveaway Suko!

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    1. Naida, I do think you'd enjoy this book. Thanks for stopping by!

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  23. sounds like a delightful reads. Hope can get my hand on a copy

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  24. I'm so late with m comments as usual. This books sounds wonderful and something I would enjoy. I'll have to check into it. Thanks for the great review! My wishlist keeps growing. Lol.

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