Daily Archives: March 5, 2009

Hungry Woman in Paris – Review

Hungry Woman in Paris
by Josefina Lopez
Publication Date: 3/9/2009

Hungry Woman in Paris Canela is a woman who is hungry, hungry for life, for love, for family and she finds herself in Paris after the death of one of her closest cousins. Canela escapes to Paris after the death of her cousin Luna, and after breaking off her engagement with Armando. Using what was supposed to be her honeymoon tickets, Canela goes to Paris and follows through with the arrangements with her cousin Rosemary, who lives in Paris. After the two weeks is over, Canela decides that she can’t go back to the US. She is angry at he cousin for passing away, she is angry with the President and the war in Iraq, but most of all, she is angry with herself and where her life is headed. She ends up staying in Paris and enrolls in an esteemed cooking school. When Rosemary’s mother in LA gets sick, Rosemary rushes to the States, leaving Canela alone in the US. During her year in Paris, Canela learns not only how to cook, but how to appreciate her life and her family.She meets a variety of characters and lives a variety of experiences and really sheds light on the nitty gritty in Paris.

The writing style reminded me of Lorraine Lopez’s The Gifted Galbadon Sisters and with a mix of Julia Alvarez.  Josefina has a very witty and intimate writing style. She pulls the reader into the story with self-deprecating comments about Canela, thoughts and emotions that most people in their late-20’s tend to the feel. The “what am I doing with my life” and “Is this really something I want to commit to for the next 40-50 years” thoughts.

A rainy day in Paris is beautiful, like a postcard, when someone is there sharing an umbrella with you. But when you feel like the only person in the world who doesn’t speak French and doesn’t have an umbrella, it feels like a giant dog peeing on you.

With these thoughts, Canela finds herself in Paris and learns to shed her fears and break barriers in her life. I found the story to be inspiring. I even contemplated leaving my life in California and boarding a plane to Paris to enroll in cooking school. Lopez’s descriptions are very vivid and graphic. Since Paris is the city of romance and food, there are quite a few sex scenes sprinkled throughout the book, and there is very little warning before certain parts get sexy. Despite the erotica portions, I really enjoyed the way Lopez wrote about the food and cooking, and seeing Canela’s transformation as a person who hates George W. Bush and is frustrated with her life and family, to a person who learns to appreciate the United States and learns to appreciate and love her mother. This is a good book, with many laugh out loud moments.

Listen to an interview with Josefina Lopez HERE about Hungry Woman in Paris.


Hungry Woman in Paris
by Josefina Lopez
Grand Central Publishing, 3/9/2009
ISBN 0446699411
277 pages


Find this book at your local library

Buy this book on Amazon

Buy this book from your local independent bookstore w/ IndieBound

Strange things in library books

This is a topic that can usually be discussed for weeks on end. People always leave strange objects in library books. I’ve seen birth certificates, car deeds, scraps of paper, real bookmarks, etc.

My favorite has to be this note that I found a week ago.

There was this note folded up into a self-made envelope. Me, being the nosy person that I am, opened up the note and started reading. (I’ve paraphrased the actual message, since I’ve forgotten all the details, but this is the main gist of it)

“Dear Mama and Papi,
Please don’t look through my belongings or else I’ll be very annoyed”
Love, xxxxxx

“Sweetheart, the only reason we do this is because we love and care about you. We are proud of you and all your accomplishments”
love mama, and papi.

But, the BEST part about this all? This was shoved in a book called Until Proven Innocent.