Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes **Book Review**
Paris for One and Other Stories is published in paperback on 20th October 2017 by Michael Joseph. It is a collection of 11 short stories, the longest of which is the first in the volume, Paris for One, in which Nell finds herself alone in Paris.
Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She's never even been on a romantic weekend away-to anywhere-before. Travelling abroad isn't really her thing. But when Nell's boyfriend fails to show up, she has the chance to prove to everyone-including herself- that she can be independent and intrepid. Alone in Paris, Nell finds a version of herself she never knew existed . . . In the ten other stories, Jojo Moyes introduces us to a cast of strong, relatable women in the midst of their everyday lives. In Honeymoon in Paris, featuring characters from her bestselling novel, The Girl You Left Behind, Liv and Sophie - though decades apart - both find that marriage is only the beginning of their love stories. In Crocodile Shoes, a businesswoman's blossoming confidence emerges from a fateful changing-room mix-up. And in both Love in the Afternoon and A Bird in the Hand, two couples dance around the trickiness of long-time marriage.
This is a collection of short stories which concern love, marriage and relationships for a wide variety of women at different stages in their lives. It is a book which I have dipped in and out of over a few months but found in each one, a strong female character to get to know. They are all fairly ordinary to the observer but of course, there is much more going on in their lives than often appears on the surface. There is pathos and humour in equal quantities and some touching moments.
For romance, the first story in the book, titles, Paris for One, has it in spades. Set in the romantic capital of Europe, you see the flavour of the city through Nell's eyes. When her boyfriend fails to turn up for her long dreamed of romantic weekend, she has to decide whether to stay on alone or go back home. Always one for safety first, can she finally take a risk? The final story, The Christmas List, sees a much older woman who has a sudden moment of clarity and who also has to decide whether to act on impulse and take a risk.
I enjoyed all the stories but particularly Honeymoon in Paris for its dual narrative of two women's lives, a century apart and also Last Year's Coat which was so relatable.This collection of stories has a real charm about it and is easy to read. You get a glimpse into people's lives and then you leave them. For readers who prefer a quick read, it is ideal.
In short: heartwarming, a little quirky and relatable.
About the Author
Jojo Moyes was born in 1969 and grew up in London. After a varied career including stints as a minicab controller, typer of braille statements for blind people for NatWest, and brochure writer for Club 18-30, she did a degree at Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, London University. In 1992, she won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to attend the postgraduate newspaper journalism course at City University.
Jojo worked as a journalist for ten years, including a year at South China Morning Post in Hong Kong, and nine at The Independent where she worked variously as News Reporter, Assistant News Editor and Arts and Media Correspondent.
Jojo has been a full time novelist since 2002, when her first book, Sheltering Rain was published. Since then she has written a further eleven novels, all of which have been widely critically acclaimed.
Jojo has won the Romantic Novelist’s Award twice, and Me Before You has been nominated for Book of the Year at the UK Galaxy Book Awards. Me Before You has since gone on to sell over 8 million copies worldwide.
The film adaptation of Me Before You starring Sam Claflin (The Hunger Games) and Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) was released in June 2016 and was a huge box-office success. The screenplay was written by Jojo.
The above was taken from Jojo's website which can be found here. You can also find her here on Twitter: @jojomoyes
Thanks to the publishers, Michael Joseph for a copy of the book.