When I lived in Paris I sometimes wrote for the Paris Voice, an English-language newspaper for anglophones living in France.
The Voice still exists, lo these many years later, and did this write-up about The Paris Effect (referencing Rules for the Perpetual Diet, the book’s original title). It is below. My favorite part is about the “Paris few casual tourists see.” It’s true–Amy experiences a lot of crazy (tho entirely possible) stuff during her week in France.
“Rules for the Perpetual Diet, ” a new novel by K. S. R. Burns, tells the story of 10 days in the life of Amy, a perpetually dieting 29-year-old who yearns to escape her small life in Phoenix for a bigger one in Paris. Plagued by a plethora of dieting “rules” (there are 33 of them), and dealing with a demanding husband as well as the recent loss of her best friend, she surprises herself and does manage to escape, only to discover a Paris that few casual tourists see—not the romantic Woody Allen Paris but a multinational, multilingual Paris of street hustlers, puddles of pee, diesel fumes, and thieves. A Paris where, like Amy, you can be robbed, stalked, arrested, and almost kidnapped. But where you can also encounter kind strangers, learn to eat raw oysters, and go on risky escapades to the forbidden catacombs.
Burns is a Seattle author, whose previous book, “The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl,” is based on her own experience holding over 50 jobs in 4 countries over the past 40 years. She lived and worked in France for 3 years. She is a former writer for “Parisvoice” and currently writes a weekly jobs advice column for “The Seattle Times.” K. S. R. Burns, is her “fiction name.” Her non-fiction is under Karen Burns.
Kirkus Reviews described “Rules for the Perpetual Diet” as a “can’t-put-down book.” Midwest Book Review called it a “fun, vigorous read.” It is a suspenseful, moving, and at times hilarious tale about love, loss, motherhood, Paris, food, and finding yourself that you would love.