Hungry Woman in Paris
Grand Central, Mar 2009, $12.99
The suicide of her cousin Luna shakes Los Angeles based Mexican-American journalist Canela to her bone marrow. She needs to escape so she leaves behind her family, her fiancé Armando and her job to find passion, something that has mysteriously vanished form her life. She goes to Paris where she enrolls in the internationally famous cooking school Le Coq Rouge and rents an apartment.
Canela has a string of lovers and makes friends with other students. Though she does not quite retain the passion that died with Luna she moves on in her grief for her cousin and feels her soul healing. Upon graduating from the culinary school, Canela returns to Southern California, but her life before Luna’s death is no longer enough.
This is a fascinating character study of a young woman who seems to have everything only to feel she has nothing and must do something about the void in her soul made self aware by her cousin’s suicide. Canela is a wonderful lead character who provides a profound first hand account that is entertaining and engaging as she uses élan and sass to hide her inner doubts. Fans will appreciate Josefina Lopez’s terrific contemporary while rooting for Canela to make it.