I don’t normally read books like this but I’m so glad that I picked it up at random. It’s not masterpiece literature, but if, like me, you like Paris, whether you’ve been there, are going there, want to go but can’t, I strongly recommend it.
It’s about a girl called Molly, fresh out of university, hating her job as a secretary until her boss, Malcolm, invites her on a business trip to Paris. It seems her life may finally be improving until she overhears his plans to get in her knickers on the trip, and, in a fit of rage, she quits. Instead of going home, however, she decides to get on a Eurostar to Paris for the weekend anyway. Shortly after, Malcolm realises she has inadvertently taken a crucial disk for their business trip. While Molly discovers herself with new friends and lovers in the City of Lights, as well as a life-altering surprise, Malcolm frantically searches for her.
When I picked up this book, I was just in the mood for anything. The cover pops “quick, easy read”, the word Paris instantly grabs my attention but I really didn’t know how much my favourite city would really feature in the book. A free guide to Paris cellophaned to the back clinched the deal But I shouldn’t have feared – once Molly disembarks the Eurostar, Paris is on every page. Places I’ve been, places I want to go to, places I’ve never heard of.
I feel like I’ve experienced the Lost in Translation effect from the other end with this book. I couldn’t fathom why so many people loved that movie, but I know that a huge volume of its fans have been to Japan. I imagine had that movie been set in Paris and so lovingly portrayed all the quirks of French culture (as this book does) as it does for Japan, I would’ve been all over it. Likewise, if this book had been set anywhere else, it just wouldn’t have been as special to me, just another cheesy romance still sitting on the shelf.
It is cheesy… very cheesy, soap cheesy. The “big secret” is, when it’s first revealed, completely ridiculous. I was surprised, though, by how quickly I recovered from it. And you always know that Robyn Sisman is going to chaperone the story to the place you want it to go in the end. I’d never have expected to read this book. It turns out I was in the mood to read exactly this kind of simple romance, without knowing it, and I was lucky enough to find myself putting this through the checkout. Now I really want to go to Paris again.