Hello everyone and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today I’m going to be reviewing Jojo Moyes’ short stories ‘Paris For One’ and ‘Honeymoon In Paris’. I was sent an ARC of this, so thanks very much to Sarah from Penguin Random House for that! As these are two short stories, I’m going to be posting a mini-review of each; so they won’t be as detailed as my usual reviews. So, here goes…
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. In this irresistible collection, readers will be whisked from elegant perfume shops to taxis to five-star hotel rooms and more.
Jojo Moyes’ ‘Paris For One And Other Stories’ is released in hardback today (9th February 2017). This collection was released as a paperback copy on 20th October 2016. Jojo Moyes is a novelist and journalist, and her novels include the bestsellers ‘Me Before You’ and ‘After You’, ‘The Girl You Left Behind’, ‘The One Plus One’ and many more. Counting just her novels, and not this collection, she has written 12 in total. ‘Me Before You’ is by far her biggest hit, and was adapted into a film production, which was released in Summer 2016.
This collection has received some fantastic praise. Sunday Express commented that ‘Moyes somehow manages to break your heart before restoring your faith in love’, Choice said ‘Jojo Moyes’ characters are so real, you want to find out what happens to them’ and Independent on Sunday stated ‘[Moyes] possesses the enviable gift of making the reader laugh in the gloomiest of circumstances’.
Paris For One
‘Paris For One’ is easily my favourite story out of these two. It’s significantly longer (around 40 pages longer) and that means that Moyes is able to construct more rounded and convincing characters. The narrative essentially follows Nell Simmons, who has planned to go to Paris with her boyfriend – but he doesn’t turn up to go on the trip. Nell must then decide whether to pack up and go home, or continue her adventures in Paris, alone.
Nell was a brilliantly executed character. Her determination and willpower really inspired me, and made me wish I was as independent as her. Obviously what happens to her is horrible, and as a reader, I really hated her boyfriend before even coming into contact with him. But Nell is smart and optimistic, and refuses to let the negative experience get her down. She’s funny and cheerful, and I really related to her as a character.
Whilst on her adventures in Paris, Nell meets Fabian. Fabian is a local who is a lot of fun and is newly single. He shows Nell around and really makes her feel at home. He’s a real gentlemen, very sweet and generous, and he seems like the perfect man! But of course he’s not, and he does have his flaws. But nevertheless, I loved reading all about Fabian’s life, and felt that he was another excellent character.
This story is light-hearted and sweet, and it’s the perfect story to snuggle up under the covers with. It’ll make you feel happy and sad, and it’s a very easy read. Nothing astounding happened and this book didn’t change my life, but I really enjoyed reading it. I was really satisfied with how the story ended, and I was really glad I took the time to read it.
I would recommend this story if you like Chick-Lit and easy reads. This book will take you away to another place for a while, and I can guarantee you’ll be wanting to visit Paris and have your own adventures afterwards! My only criticism is that it is quite cliché in places – but it’s a love story set in Paris, so that’s to be expected. A great read!
Honeymoon In Paris
‘Honeymoon In Paris’ is the second-longest story in the collection, and is another light-hearted, absorbing read. The story follows two different characters in two different time periods – Liv in 2002, and Sophie in 1912. Liv is on her honeymoon with her new husband David, but David seems to be more interested in his work and attending meetings than her. Sophie has recently married Edouard, a local – but she soon discovers he’s not the man she thought he was.
Liv is personally my favourite character in the book. I really related to and empathised with her, as she struggles to deal with the lack of attention she is receiving on her honeymoon. Similarly to Nell in ‘Paris For One’, Liv decides to be independent and go and explore Paris by herself. She meets some locals and enjoys herself, and her optimism really did inspire me. Her husband isn’t perfect, but neither is she; and I felt that this made for a really authentic, realistic relationship.
Sophie is a really great character also, and I did see parts of myself in her too. She is new to Paris and trusts her husband, but she soon begins to doubt his intentions as she hears some gossip about him. She has to make a choice; and unfortunately, she picks the wrong one. I went through most of this story disliking Edouard, but began to warm to him towards the end. Again, they didn’t get off to the best start, which was very interesting and entertaining to read about.
Similarly to ‘Paris For One’, this story is charming and sweet, and is perfect to read in one sitting. Reading this is like quickly jetting off to Paris for an hour or so; becoming absorbed in the culture and the characters before coming back to reality. Again, it didn’t particularly move me or change my life in any way, but it was a very entertaining read.
I’d recommend this if you want a bit more of an unconventional love story. I felt that it wasn’t as cliché as ‘Paris For One’, and there were very different issues and topics addressed in this. If you like multiple narrative voices and changes in time, I think you will enjoy this story more. For me, personally, I did enjoy ‘Paris For One’ more, but they were pretty close in my opinion!
Happy reading 🙂