I finally got around to finishing the book I began reading on the train from Amsterdam to Paris, Molly Wizenberg‘s superb foodie memoir, A Homemade Life.

My fabulous editor Jamie Chavez recommended it a while ago, and she was totally right about me liking it. I sort of devoured it like a batch of ooey-gooey oatmeal chocolate chip cookies fresh from the oven.

You know a foodie memoir is really good when the writer routinely makes your stomach growl, and so many of the stories behind Molly’s recipes not only appealed to your taste buds (her chocolate-y Winning Hearts and Minds wedding cake, for example, immediately made me want to whip out some flour and cake pans and go to work), but your heart as well.

She told stories about her beloved father who passed away, stories about falling in love with her husband, stories of peasant meals shared with friends, and appropriately enough for the trip I was on, stories about the city that forever shaped her life and the way she cooks—Paris.

If you’ve never made your way to the City of Light, Molly’s book will make you feel like you’re a local. She acquaints you with the lively streets nestled beyond the tourist-y spots, the local markets with the freshest produce, the places she walked to survive relational heartbreak, and, perhaps, best of all, she sings the praises of cheese and butter and bread. Basically she became the best friend I never knew I had, a welcome companion on my own Parisian adventure.

I had about 20 or so pages left when I made my way back to Texas, and after what happened in Paris recently, I just couldn’t get back into it. All I could think of was a quote from one of my favorite movies, Silver Linings Playbook, when Bradley Cooper’s character says, “the world will break your heart 10 ways to Sunday, that’s guaranteed.”

Being an optimist by nature, that’s a pretty tough pill to swallow, but lately it’s felt even truer than usual whether it’s the senseless loss of life in Paris or today in Mali or the ones whose plight is never acknowledged during the 24-hour news cycle. It’s absolutely heartbreaking, a series of kicks to the gut and so difficult to process.

Last night when I was deciding what to read before bed, I noticed my well-worn copy of A Homemade Life sporting a layer of dust on my nightstand , dusted it off and decided it was time to finish. Like the best books it transported me elsewhere all over again, and it ended just as sweetly as it began. And considering the timing, it was also a fitting tribute to the city I fell in love with all over again in early October and a reminder of much happier times.