Over the years I have read quite a few of her novels and each novel is unique and I always have a hard time putting them down. The main characters are always interesting, well drawn women and the romance elements are tenderhearted and emotionally charged.
I don’t read a lot of short stories or collections of stories as I prefer a fully developed novel where I can focus on one character but because Moyes novels are always so enjoyable, I thought I would give this one a go.
Initially I didn’t know that this was a collection of stories because the first story, Paris for One, was actually more of a novella in length while the others were more like short stories. Each of the women in the stories were memorable, interesting, and unique. I especially liked that one of the stories had a Christmas theme to it…..this time of year I love Christmas romances so I really enjoyed that one.
The title story, Paris for One, is about Nell, a twenty-six year old who has never been to Paris. She’s never even been on a romantic weekend away to anywhere before. Everyone knows travelling abroad isn’t really her thing. But when Nell’s boyfriend fails to show up for their romantic mini-vacation, she has the opportunity to prove everyone including herself wrong.
Alone and in Paris, Nell uncovers a version of herself she never knew existed: independent and intrepid. Could this turn out to be the most adventurous weekend of her life?
The other stories are:
Between the Tweets
Love in the Afternoon
A Bird in the Hand
Last Year’s Coat
Thirteen Days with John C.
The Christmas List
While I enjoyed Paris for One as the title story and The Christmas List for the whole holiday piece, I actually really loved Love in the Afternoon for the short stories.
Love in the Afternoon is about a woman’s husband who surprises her with a getaway vacation but it can’t conjure up a bygone romance. This story was so realistic and heartbreaking but yet the ending worked really well and still left me feeling satisfied. I think this one really hit home to me in some ways because it was so real. I think I could relate to the story and I just loved how it was so honest and authentic.
While Paris for One is more of a traditional romance, the other stories are about women experiencing dissatisfaction in their marriage and/or career, after the initial shine has worn off and kids and finances have complicated the picture, life happens and their stories are so realistic and powerful that I think any woman could relate in some way. Paris for One was more of an idealistic romance while the others just seemed more real.
This is probably why I enjoyed the short stories more than the title novella I think. While Moyes is a talented storyteller and her delicate touch with her stories is ever present, it’s the realness of the women…..flawed, a little frumpy, and life-worn…..that really make this story pop for me as a woman reader.
That said, I kind of wish these were each separate novels. There were times that I felt like the characters and the stories needed to be more room to develop. While I was satisfied in general with most of the stories, I felt like I could have gotten so much more out of a full length novel!
On the whole the collection was a wonderful read and I loved the witty romances and realistic characters. If you are looking for a character driven novel filled with heart and romance than this is the collection for you!
Kindle Edition, 288 pagesPublished October 18th 2016 by Pamela Dorman Books (first published October 2016)
This book counts toward: NA
- Hosted by: NA
- Books for Challenge Completed: NA
Recommendation: 4 out of 5
Genre: Romance, womens fiction, chick lit
Memorable lines/quotes: NA