Lisette's Paris Notebook by Catherine Bateson
Published January 3, 2017 by Allen & Unwin
Source: the publisher
Rating: 4 stars
From the blurb: Eighteen-year-old Lisette has just arrived in Paris (France!) - the city of haute couture and all things stylish - to practise her French and see great works of art. Her clairvoyant landlady Madame Christophe forces her to attend language lessons with a bunch of international students but soon Lise discovers she's more interested in studying boys than art or verbs ...
When the undeniably hot Anders jogs into her life it feels too good to be true. Things get even more complicated when she is pursued by Hugo, a charming English antiques dealer.
Can she take a chance and follow her own dreams? How far into the future can Madame Christophe see? And could Lise really be falling in love - in Paris?
Lisette's Paris Notebook by Catherine Bateson is set in, you guessed it, Paris! I adore books set in Paris, whether they're memoirs or fiction, so I was really looking forward to this release.
The story did not disappoint. It was charming, picturesque, and so wonderfully French. Eighteen year old Lisette Williams has finished high school and has left Melbourne to spend her summer in Paris. She's ditched her usual nickname, Lisi, and has decided she'll go by Lise while abroad. She was raised by her mother, a seamstress, after her father left before she was born. She never got to know him and now she's had word from his lawyers that he's passed away. Lise goes to France at the urging of her mother, a woman who has always loved the idea of Paris, and Lise ends up discovering more about herself than she expected.
I loved this story right from the start. It reminded me of the first time I went to Europe alone, and the time I spent in Paris with friends. The setting was easy to imagine and allowed me to travel vicariously through Lise's trip.
Lise was a complicated but genuine character. I was intrigued by her past and the factors that drove her her to France. It seemed to be more of her mother's dream than hers, and yet there is so much she loves about her time overseas. She's a girl who likes to have a plan, who likes to know the outcome before she makes a choice, but of course when you add love into the mix, things go awry. Her mother's distrust of men has been ingrained into Lise's personality and it was frustrating to see her struggle with indecision about her future. Ultimately she shows a lot of growth over the course of the story which only endeared her to me even more.
Lisette's stubbornness and fear, while realistic, had me worried about what choice she would make. But, the end of the story came with a satisfying conclusion that left me wondering if the author has plans for a sequel.
Ableist language: crazy, lame.
Lisette's Paris Notebook is a delightful and captivating story of a girl trying to figure out where she wants her life to go. The Paris setting is vivid and daydream-inducing, and is sure to have you planning your own trip before you've even finished reading.
Thank you to Allen & Unwin for the ARC. RRP A$16.99.
Cover design: Debra Billson.
Illustrations: Hanna Bobrova, Anna Kozlenko, Nancy White.
I adore this cover. I love the style of the illustrations and the focus on red, black, white and blue. I really enjoyed painting it.
I started with a base of Ulta3 Sugar Coat, a pale neutral shade. I used acrylic paint for the illustrations.