REVIEW: I SEE LONDON I SEE FRANCE, BY PAULITA KINCER

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After a ten-year marriage to Scott, Caroline is stunned when he simply walks out after an argument. An argument that didn’t seem that horrific, when looking back on it. So she is sure that he’ll cool off and come back.

But he doesn’t come back, and after sharing her feelings and frustrations with a friend in her former home town in Michigan, she comes to a decision. One that will alter her life for the foreseeable future.

She sells her minivan—the one she bought with her grandmother’s inheritance—and takes the plunge to try and find her passion. What does she want in life, and how can she reclaim that zest for living she recalls from her younger years? How did her domestic “servitude” take over her life and squelch all of the love and lust she once felt?

Following along as Caroline tours Europe with her three children, ages 9, 7, and 5, we can feel like we’re part of the journey. We see London, Scotland, Paris, and Provence through Caroline’s eyes, as she brings us the story from her first-person perspective. We also see what her life looked like back in her younger days, as she flashes back to 1996, when she first visited Provence, living as an au pair in her student days. And we revisit her unrequited lust for an old flame.

What will Caroline discover as she reclaims her life? Will her newly rediscovered writing help her work out her own issues? And once she has found her passion, can she sort out the rest of her life? Will she realize that she must rescue herself, instead of looking to a man to do so?

As I immersed myself in I See London I See France, I could totally relate to how Caroline felt submerged into a life that just happened to her, seemingly without her consent. Her choices seemed very impulsive, but sometimes when a woman feels as though her life has been taken over by outside forces, spontaneity is the appropriate response. Perhaps the only choice. I really liked how she confronted the uncomfortable issues enough to acknowledge her own complicity in her subjugation, and face what she needed to do to change things. A book I recommend to all women who must figure out how to realize their own potential. Five stars!

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