That Paris Year
That Paris Year, a novel by Joanna Biggar
In 1962, five young women set off from California to spend their junior year abroad at the famous Sorbonne. What they get is an education of an entirely different order. Set in the months leading up to the Kennedy assassination, That Paris Year captures a particular time in history, just before the dawn of the sexual revolution, when women — and men — were re-evaluating their place in the world around them, re-examining the demands of family, society, and self. Plunged into a world where exhausting days of study are juggled with late nights in smoky cafes, each of our heroines must navigate her own way through the pleasures and pitfalls of living in the City of Light. As seen through the eyes of J.J., the group’s self-appointed chronicler, the five interwoven narratives of That Paris Year offer a multi-faceted portrait of what it meant to be an ambitious, intelligent American woman in those charged years between the complacency of the 1950s and the cultural and political upheavals that were to follow.
If you’ve been to France, this novel is a delicious joy ride, the next best thing to a return ticket. If you haven’t, it may get you packing. It is, above all, an extended love song to a city the author knows intimately and in exquisite detail. – Christine Berardo, writer and producer