Sometimes you just want to read a story about two people who fall in love. Not a Nicholas Sparks kind of love story, but a more realistic, contemporary, complicated story about two imperfect people who find each other. Well, voilá, Marc Levy, a much loved French author has done just that and to make it even more perfect it is set in the city of love: Paris! You can’t get better than that!
Mia, is a well known actress who has played characters who fall in love in many movies. Her co-star in may of these movies is also her husband in real life, but his compulsive philandering has destroyed their marriage and her love. So Mia decides to get away to to reconsider her life and what better place to do that but Paris where her best friend lives. Incognito, with the help of a new hair style and color and wearing sunglasses whenever in public, Mia achieves a sense of anonymity and freedom she had forgotten long ago. Her cover is helped immensely by the fact that her friend who runs a restaurant in Paris is in desparate need of a waitress. Who would ever think to find the famous Mia working at a restaurant in Paris!
Then Mia meets Paul, an American author living in Paris. (Actually Paul and Mia’s friends independently conspired and posted Paul and Mia’s info on a dating site; so yes, although love’s ways are mysterious they also need a bit of a nudge.) Paul and Mia seem to hit it off- at least in the beginning. However, Paul, who does not recognize Mia as the famous actress, is going through an existential crisis of his own and has vague unresolved feelings for his Korean translator where his books have become a stunning success. It’s just complicated. With all the many obstacles, lies, stresses and distractions in their lives to overcome will it be too late before they see the possibilities for love?
Levy’s breezy narration style and excellent ear for dialogue make this a fun easy read. But don’t be fooled-there is a quiet soulfulness that permeates this book, that balances those bright notes. Both Paul and Mia are complicated characters with a lifetime of baggage, yet there is a sweetness to their bumbling romance that seems real and true. Paris, with its beautiful parks, little cafes and wonderful food is a wonderful supporting character in this little gem of a novel! Trés bien!
Brenda’s Rating: ****(4 out of 5 Stars)
Recommend this book to: Marian, Lauren, Sharon and Keith
Book Study Worthy? Yes with brie, baguettes and wine!
Read in ebook format