#aww2018 · 2018 Reviews · beauty · Beauty and Lace review · biography · fashion · France · memoir · non-fiction · travel · true stories

Beauty & Lace Book Club Review: Paris Dreaming by Katrina Lawrence

Title: Paris Dreamingparis dreaming small

Author:  Katrina Lawrence

Published: November 20th 2017

Publisher: Harper Collins Books Australia

Pages: 368

Genres:  Biography, True Stories, Memoir

RRP: $35.00

Rating: 4 stars

An Australian beauty journalist shares her obsession with Paris – a city which has been her guide through a lifelong journey of self-discovery. Katrina Lawrence first fell in love with Paris at the age of five, and since then her roads have continually led her back to this most beautiful city, the City of Lights.

Telling us the story of why Paris continually fascinates her, Katrina also gives us a mesmerising journey around Paris’s most spectacular sights and most beguiling nooks and crannies, as well as a profound musing on Paris and its people – from feminism to femininity, politics to perfume, and of course, those stylish Parisiennes who captivate us, from Catherine de Medici and Coco Chanel to Brigitte Bardot and Catherine Deneuve, making Paris Dreaming the ultimate chic, personal and charming memoir.

Studded with fascinating anecdotes and intriguing tidbits of trivia, Katrina shares the lessons Paris has taught her: everything from her favourites cafes and how to pick the perfect red lipstick to how to eat for pleasure. Written with warmth, gaiety, elegance and very real insight, Paris Dreaming is a book not just for women who love Paris, but for anyone in search of that elusive good life.

My review:

Paris Dreaming is a book you will easily fall in love with on first sight. When I first opened my parcel from the publisher which contained this book from Harper Collins Books Australia, I was taken aback by just how beautiful this book is on the outside. It features the silhouette of a fashion model, adorned in a stunning blush pink dress. The title of the novel and the outline of the Paris skyline are embossed in gold. I will admit to spending a lot of time before opening the book to read fawning over the cover!

Inside the book Paris Dreaming, written by beauty journalist Katrina Lawrence, is the story of a young girl who fell in love with the city of lights, Paris, at just five years old. Since this life changing family trip, Katrina has made many return visits to the most beautiful city in the world, often at pivotal turning points in her life. These include visits that coincided with her high school graduation, the beginning of her career in journalism, to falling in love and taking a vacation as a mother of two. In this unique travel memoir and testament to Paris, Lawrence shares her thoughts on the way of life in Paris. Lawrence includes vignettes on feminism, politics and includes some interesting historical events, as well as information on key Parisian figureheads. Tied together with these influences are Katrina Lawrence’s offerings on the not to be missed sights of Paris, the food, fashion and cultural aspects of this rich locale. Most of all, after Lawrence shares a few special moments about Paris and she guides the reader to a ‘good life’, which she believes can be taken directly from the experiences in Paris Dreaming.

As a self confessed Francophile since I made my maiden voyage to the city of lights in 2009, I have read a lot and I stress a lot of literature on Paris. This has ranged from fiction, to non fiction, historicals, travel guides and biographies. I loved the fact that Paris Dreaming, by Katrina Lawrence, offered a fresh take on a city of thought I knew so much about. Boy was I mistaken! Through Katrina Lawrence and her delightful genre hybrid Paris Dreaming, I was able to glean much more about a city I have loved for many years.

Katrina Lawrence is the ultimate tour guide, her approach to selling the sights and sounds of Paris is touching, insightful and original. Throughout your time with Paris Dreaming, expect to be hit with plenty of historical fact, told in an engaging way. Expect plenty of beauty tips and fashion, plus fashion icons and trends of the Parisians. Expect anecdotes on feminism, politics, art and culture. Expect to taste and drink in the wonderful food and culinary delights Paris has to offer. Most all, expect to come away from Paris Dreaming learning a thing or two, or thinking a little differently on what the good life constitutes.

Paris Dreaming is an exquisite book inside and out. I adored the structure of this book very much. Each chapter in the book correlates to a stage in the author, Katrina Lawrence’s life. Readers will be astounded by the stunning black and white illustrations that open each chapter. I desperately wanted to hang these images on my walls as I loved them so very much! The extra special touches added to this book are clearly a reflection of the thought and care that has gone into the production of Paris Dreaming. A beautiful map of Paris at the front, personal photographs and a note on use of font in the book (adobe garamond – an elegant font inspired by the work of a 16th century Parisian punch cutter) demonstrates Lawrence’s devotion to getting the finer details of this book just right. Combined with an impressive bibliography at the close, Lawrence’s depth of research cannot be faulted.

Paris Dreaming is the ultimate coffee table accessory and it is a beautiful book to add to your personal library. It would make the perfect gift, especially for someone who has a passion for Paris, is about to embark on a trip to the city or simply dreams of visiting one day.

Paris Dreaming by Katrina Lawrence was published on 20th November 2017 by Harper Collins Books Australia. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Paris Dreaming, Katrina Lawrence, visit here.

*Please note that a free copy of this book was provided to me for review purposes through Beauty and Lace and Harper Collins Books Australia. To read the original review on the Beauty and Lace website please visit here.

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4 thoughts on “Beauty & Lace Book Club Review: Paris Dreaming by Katrina Lawrence

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