A friend of mine who loves books as much as I do shared this beautiful book with me. After I insisted that I would enjoy a book of short stories, even though I love Jojo Moyes, she proved me well and truly wrong.
In fact, I finished the book in no time at all. The simple thing that drew me in was the fact that there were so many fabulous females in the stories. It was great to read about ‘normal’ women who carry the same anxieties and guilty secrets many of us do (I do have rather a weak spot for crisps, like one of the heroines).
My favourite stories were both based in Paris. The lovely story that gives the book its title drew me straight in. In fact, it left me with a burning desire to visit Paris. The romance and adventure that the city can offer all those who visit, for whatever reason, is beautifully created in this story. You root for the heroine from the moment you start reading, as a series of unfortunate events leads her on quite an adventure and, ultimately, to a much better happy ending than she may have been due if she did not seize the day.
My second-favourite piqued my interest, as it is a lovely story that flits between the past and present to tell the story of two newlywed women who clearly knew what they wanted and how to ensure that they had it. However, it also suggests that sometimes there needs to be compromise. It also harks back to the romance of Paris in the early 20th century and the artistic lifestyle led by those who wanted to share their passion for art.
However, overall, the whole book is a joy of stories that are page turners. It has certainly made me excited for the publication of Jojo Moyes new book, ‘Still Me’, in January. I also may be less dismissive of short story collections in future, as it is a real talent to be able to tell a story in so few words and pages.