Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod (Tantor)

Overwhelmed and burned out by the grind of her copywriting career and daily life in Los Angeles, and tired of being single, Janice MacLeod decides to take a leap of faith by quitting her job and setting off for Europe for several months of travel. Narrator Tavia Gilbert offers a youthful and enthusiastic reading of Janice’s story, imparting the author’s wonder and delight at the twists and turns her life takes, and capturing the light tone of the story. That said, though, Gilbert’s narration sometimes tends toward being over-the-top. Ultimately, during her travels, Janice ends up finding her passion and her purpose in Paris: She meets her husband, Christophe, and builds a life for herself creating and selling hand-painted letters about the city she so clearly loves. AudioFile

If you’ve ever wanted to step out of your life and into a more streamlined, romantic version, then pay attention, because Janice MacLeod will tell you how she did it. Surviving but not thriving in middle management at an ad agency, she asked one simple question: “How much money does it take to quit your job?” And one step at a time, she walked away from the Cube Farm. She downsized everything in her life, from objects to people, and learned to take chances, eventually finding romance and a new life in Paris. Ironically, she made a living sending out hand-painted letters of her life instead of the corporate junk mail she once created. Narrator Gilbert has great comedic timing and a lovely French accent, though sometimes she sounds a little brittle.