Paris for One – and Other Stories – Jojo Moyes
Michael Joseph, £12.99
It says ‘unashamedly romantic’ on the inside cover and that’s just the way this fun series of short stories leaves you: not quite hot and frisky, but definitely warm and mushy and not cold and uncaring.
Opening with Nell, she is 26 and never been to Paris and is heading for her first romantic weekend away in the city of romance… her boyfriend goes awol. This romance is going nowhere.
But although Nell’s mother says she is ‘not the adventurous type’ she decides that, on this one weekend, she is going to be ‘Parisian’. cooped up in her hotel room reading a book.
Then she meets Fabien, a hopeful author who is scrabbling for inspiration and scribbling in desperation.
But this is Paris, and only Rome is the eternal city.
Paris for One is the longest of the stories and gives a chance to sink into a style that moves on at a remarkable pace and allows neat touches in the storytelling.
There are many sides of Paris on show here; from the little hotel and tourist sites to the five-star palace and the expensive shops… even the odd indiscretion in a bar.
Reading Honeymoon in Paris about painter Edouard and new wife Sophie is a welcome pick-me-up for any jaded thoughts and not at all the kind of place where you would have expected a bar-room brawl.
Having said that, though, it is Nell’s decision to have a wild moment (and buy a new wardrobe) that lasts in the mind. Delicious.