Friday, September 2, 2011

Book Review: Immoveable Feast: A Paris Christmas by John Baxter

I know it's a bit early to read this book, but as a woman who reads beach books in winter and depressing winter books in summer, why not Christmas in August?

John Baxter is an Australian living in L.A. working as a screenwriter when his marriage breaks up. On a whim he contacts a French woman, Marie-Dominique, who he had met many years ago when she was still a teenager. They spend an amazing two weeks together and when it's time for her to leave, he goes with her, never to return. They eventually have a daughter and marry. Food is his entree into Marie-Dominique's family, particularly at the beginning when he speaks no French, but food is a language all Parisians understand fluently.

A series of essays of a sort, musings and remembrances, the book is covering a particular recent Christmas when Mr. Baxter is preparing the family meal (which he has done every year after the first year), from preparing the menu to shopping to marinading, he covers most of a month obsessed with this meal. But he isn't trying to make it into a bit, overblown production - it's simple, homey, and comforting, just like Christmas dinner should be. A quick, light read peppered throughout with period line drawings and cartoons, this book would make a great gift, or be the perfect read to put you in a holiday mood (all the more perfect for being short, as December is a month when reading time is short.) Sweet, thoughtful, and charming, at John Baxter's Immoveable Feast is where I wish I would be on December 25.

I bought this book from my local independent bookstore.

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

I loved this book as well. My first visit to Paris was just after Christmas and though I didn't enjoy an immoveable feast, this book brought back some great sensual memories. Aside from being at home with my family, I can't think of a better place to spend the holiday.