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DreamLAnd by Martine Couralet-Laing, a French expat in L.A.

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DreamLAnd de Martine Couralet-Laing.

When I listened to an episode of Check In, the Sunset Boulevard podcast, I was captivated by Martine’s story and book. This French expatriate in Los Angeles immerses us in her extraordinary daily life. In particular, she shares anecdotes of encounters with Hollywood celebrities and unique moments in her life.

As a passionate lover of Los Angeles, this episode of Check-In immediately piqued my interest. Intrigued, I decided to start reading on a sunny afternoon, while I was preparing my next trip to California.

DreamLAnd book summary

“DreamLAnd” plunges us into the vibrant Los Angeles of Martine Couralet-Laing, a French expatriate who shares her twenty years of encounters with the stars of Hollywood and the inhabitants of this mythical city. Over the pages, she takes us to meet Jacqueline Bisset, Sharon Stone, Harrison Ford and many others, while revealing the sometimes surprising reality behind the glamour of the City of Angels. From cemeteries for sale to nuclear shelters around swimming pools, coyotes on the prowl and the touching stories of illegal immigrants, Martine offers us an authentic and captivating look at Los Angeles. In “DreamLAnd”, she invites us to share her dream and discover this unique city.

DreamLAnd: an addictive book

I expected to read about 30 pages and move on. But I found myself absorbed by the book, devouring it in one go. Even my current TV series (“Designated Survivor“) took a back seat while I finished this addictive read.

Martine’s book is structured in a similar way to Dale Carnegie’s “How to Make Friends“. There are short chapters focusing on anecdotes from her life in Los Angeles. Each anecdote is followed by the author’s analysis of the situation, offering an enriching perspective.

DreamLAnd highlights

Among the many captivating chapters, some particularly caught my attention. This is the case, for example, of the chapter on the day of September 11 in Los Angeles. Indeed, it offers a unique perspective on this tragic event. Until then, I had no idea what had happened on the West Coast that day… Similarly, the chapter on the fallout shelter took me back to the “Why Women Kill” and “The Watcher” series, especially as I’m always intrigued by the past of our residences… The appearance of Harrison Ford in one of the anecdotes added a fascinating dimension to the reading experience for me. I had followed his accident in Santa Monica closely.


In conclusion, I highly recommend reading this book. It made me laugh, kept me on the edge of my seat and even made me want to see some of the movies. I particularly appreciated Martine’s treatment of the human dimension in Los Angeles neighborhoods such as Hollywood, Bel Air and Beverly Hills, rather than the “bling-bling” aspect often evoked when talking about these iconic places. Finally, the various locations are described so realistically that I felt as if I’d been transported across the Atlantic for a few hours.

If you’d like to enjoy this wonderful reading experience, I invite you to pick up “DreamLAnd” at your favorite bookshop.