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"Erudite, charming, and yet sharply appraising, Kelly's ode to Paris evokes the spirit of the city itself. A lovely book." -- Patricia Pearson
"Paris Times Eight is a fast-paced, breezy read, its substance subtly woven into a tale of a city whose glamour and beauty never fades." -- Ottawa Citizen
A poignant and often amusing reminiscence of growing to womanhood through eight visits to Paris.
For Deirdre Kelly, Paris is not only a dream city but also the place where she attains a deeper understanding of herself. Having always defined herself in opposition to her mother, Kelly finds in the city itself her "other mother," the mother of her imagination.
At nineteen, Kelly first arrives in Paris as a starry-eyed ing nue. In a subsequent visit she appears as a budding writer, eager for intellectual and sexual adventure, who interviews the legendary Nureyev and crashes an exclusive fashion show. In an emotionally charged return, Kelly takes her mother to Paris to meet her "other mother," with not altogether happy results. She also takes her future husband, who has his own connection to the city. On her last trip, she is a mother herself.
During all these visits, Paris is the constant, but Kelly's shifting emotional world creates varying perspectives on both the city and her evolving self. Paris emerges as a principal character, an influence that inspires and guides Kelly on her path to growth and maturity.