Jennie Goutet lives just outside of Paris with her three children. Just reading her blog, a Lady in France, you come to know her as a graceful, thoughtful presence and friend. Her memoir serves as a glimpse into her extraordinary life, while simultaneously prompting a very real desire to sit down with her for a cup of coffee while several small children run around the two of you in fits of giggles.
A Lady in France, the memoir, takes you through Jennie’s life, from the over confident young girl living a sometimes lonely existence as a teacher in Asia, to the harrowing loss of her adopted brother, to life in corporate New York, a battle with alcohol addiction, as a missionary in Africa where her heart is forever changed, and finally putting down roots with her family in France.
There are two overarching themes throughout the book, both of which are described in a brutally honest but relatable way. The first is her sometimes crippling, ever-present depression, anxiety, and feelings of low self worth. It is buried effectively at times, and at others, rears its ugly head. The second is her relationship with God: nonexistent in the beginning, becomes all encompassing when it develops, and goes through growing pains and is nearly lost with her anger towards Him after excruciating heartbreak. Jennie, though her adult life is woven into the church, is never preachy or judgmental. It’s clear that she lives her life in such a way that highlights that relationship, and she is always matter-of-fact about it.
Jennie has a way of bringing a reader intimately into her world, with snippets of adventure, humbling experiences, loss, grief, and immense joy. Her enormous heart flows through each page, wrapping you in a warm embrace as she brings you into every inch of her world.
A Lady In France is available in Kindle and paperback versions on Amazon.
I was not compensated for this review and all opinions are 100% my own (as always).