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Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite
“Left to your own devices, you may start a war,” are the words of her father, considering that Maura Stone is about to leave them for a long period of time in Paris. The mother thinks she will get mixed up with Communists, which can cost her father his job. But the young Maura Stone sees it differently, sees it as an adventure of a lifetime. But is going to Paris, where she studies literature and architecture, the fun she has always thought it would be? Amour Anarchy: A Memoir chronicles the author’s life in Paris during her junior year, from being a girlfriend of a true “bon vivant” from Tehran named Mitri — the guy has other two girlfriends and considers Maura his Number Three — through heartbreaks, to stunning discoveries, including knowledge of the impending revolution. What does it feel like to live alone in Paris, away from family and as a teenager?
The first thing that caught my attention when I started reading this memoir is the strength of the prose, and the author’s literary background comes across in the narrative with style and unique beauty. The recollections of Paris are spellbinding and done in a language that is atmospheric and arresting, with powerful images of different seasons and locales and what the city represents to the myriad people pulled into its orbit. The fact that the protagonist sets out to study alone in Paris as a young girl is a powerful premise for a great story, and the reader wants to see how she can cope. In this memoir, readers will find delight in the romance and the adventure, and the author’s authentic and honest tone will have them spellbound. Maura Stone knows how to bring life to a setting and she tells a story that will entertain readers while giving them interesting cultural insights. Amour Anarchy: A Memoir is well-written, gripping, and hilarious.