Cuyahoga River

Cuyahoga River
Cuyahoga River in the Valley

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Les Roberts, who has written 24 novels, close to a dozen short stories, eight screenplays and countless newspaper articles and reviews, will be the writer-in-residence at the Word Lover's Retreat this spring. Join Les and other writers in Lakeside, Ohio, during the weekend of April 30, May 1 and 2, for another weekend of listening to and playing with words, creating poetry, exploring the elements of story, and participating in satisfying conversation with other writers during endless walks on the meandering paths of Lakeside. Pack up your writing materials and immerse yourself in writing, for a weekend you deserve. The porches of the Idlewyld B&B in the heart of Ohio’s Chautauqua on Lake Erie’s Shore, await you. Stay the entire weekend or just spend the day with us on Saturday, May 1. Friday supper, Saturday breakfast and lunch, and Sunday breakfast will be served. Cookies and chocolates available all weekend long! Contact Claudia Taller at for more information.

I Remember Paris

Tatiana de Rosnay's Sarah’s Key was tragic and redemptive. Set in WWII Paris and in modern-day Paris, de Rosnay wove the tales of two women, a young Jewish girl who innocently locked her brother in the closet on the day of the 1942 roundup and a middle-aged woman married to an insensitive Frenchman. The stories are told in alternating short chapters--hats off to de Rosnay for seamless stories told in alternating chapters. I liked the intrigue of a modern-day ex-patriot in Paris trying to find the woman whose brother was locked in a closet and who escaped the death camp amidst Parisians' denial that the arrests of 1942 took place. Both women were triumphant and found redemption.

I read the novel on the heels of reading Julia Child's memoir My Life in Paris. I enjoyed experiencing Child's experiments with recipes in her apartment on the Left Bank and the trials and tribulations of collaboration, publishing, and television production. Unfortunately, I read the book after seeing the movie Julie and Julia, which portrayed Child as insensitive. Apparently the way Julia treated Julie in the movie was a fabrication. The movie was unkind to Julia Child.

I haven't been to Paris in seven years. Its energy and verve came back to me because I recognized many of the sites in these books. I was strolling the shady Tuileries, the streets bustling with restaurants, and the Left Bank where artists line up to sell their paintings with the Seine below them. I remember eating escargot while watching Notre Dame become a beacon in the darkening sky. These books highlight the tendency of Parisians to ignore the unpleasant and their fervent love for their city and their food.