Friday, May 3, 2019

Book Review: One Summer in Paris

By Sara Steven

To celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Grace has planned the surprise of a lifetime for her husband—a romantic getaway to Paris. But she never expected he’d have a surprise of his own: he wants a divorce. Reeling from the shock but refusing to be broken, a devastated Grace makes the bold decision to go to Paris alone.

Audrey, a young woman from London, has left behind a heartache of her own when she arrives in Paris. A job in a bookshop is her ticket to freedom, but with no money and no knowledge of the French language, suddenly a summer spent wandering the cobbled streets alone seems much more likely…until she meets Grace, and everything changes.

Grace can’t believe how daring Audrey is. Audrey can’t believe how cautious newly single Grace is. Living in neighboring apartments above the bookshop, this unlikely pair offer each other just what they’ve both been missing. They came to Paris to find themselves, but finding this unbreakable friendship might be the best thing that’s ever happened to them… (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads)

I felt myself getting carried away by One Summer in Paris. From the devastating dinner Grace shares with her estranged husband, to the quick decision to fly to Paris and embark on a solo journey of self-discovery, the emotional roller coaster ride transported me from one deep extreme to another, allowing me full access into all that Grace experiences. I could relate to Grace and the inner girl she used to know, someone who had been more of an adventurous spirit. Time has dulled those motivations within her, and it was inspiring to see her find herself again.

I also appreciated the unique friendship between Grace and Audrey. Audrey is the type of character that Grace wishes she could be, who acts more upon impulse and doesn’t dwell much on consequences. They lean on one another and compliment one another beautifully, proving that age has no boundaries, where friendship is concerned. It was sweet to see this unconventional pairing blossom as the story line progresses.

There are heartbreaking moments in One Summer; a chance to see how Grace comes back from the devastating circumstances that would have ordinarily shut her down. In having the supporting characters rally around her, we get to see the slow progression of the woman she is now, meld with the girl she used to be, in order to handle what’s been thrown at her as gracefully as possible. I cheered when she decided to act on her own impulses for a change, and questioned some of her decisions where her love life is concerned. It was interesting to see another side to the coin, in dealing with damaged relationships. I’m not sure I could have gone the same route that she does, but I accepted it because I could see the inner struggle for Grace, knowing her choices ultimately were not easy.

There is a sweet undercurrent subplot for Grace’s grandmother, too. One that I saw coming, but it was still sweet nonetheless. This isn’t my first Sarah Morgan novel, and once again, she’s given us a nice balance between hard and soft, with a nice easy flow that kept me on the hook from the first page to the last. A much-deserved five-star read!

Thanks to Aro Publicity for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Sarah Morgan:

1 comment:

cindy r said...

I LOVE all of Sarah Morgan's novel! So much fun!