I’m always drawn to books set in places I’ve been. I’m comforted by the familiar, finding imagining the sights, sounds and smells of a place easier if I’ve experienced them first hand. “One Summer in Paris” took me back to the June evening when I stood on Pont St Michel, contemplating the end of my semester of study in France. But that’s a whole other story…
The reasons for Grace and Audrey being in Paris appear, at the outset, to be very different, but as their story progresses from their chance meeting on a Parisian street, you begin to see the tragic similarities in the lives of these two women. Strangers who were usually separated by a generation and the Atlantic Ocean, brought together by circumstances beyond their control. I was touched by how the two women influenced the other to bring out the best in their new friend. Grace’s response to life is plan everything, pushing spontaneity and uncertainty away by creating plans and lists. By contrast, Audrey arrives in Paris with very little French and even less of a plan of how she will support herself during her summer sojourn. The book was written mainly from the two main characters’ point of view, but we also get a chapter or two from Mimi’s perspective, Grace’s colourful French grandmother.
What I loved about “One Summer in Paris” was that Sarah Morgan didn’t take us on a clichéd, whistle stop tour of the city, with the Eiffel Tower visible from every balcony (spoiler alert: it isn’t!) Her description of the musty bookshop was spot on and I could almost imagine myself amongst the piles of books, sneezing along with Audrey and Grace. All in all, I found “One Summer in Paris” an enjoyable read with engaging female characters. The only thing is, it’s given me the urge to book a flight to Paris…
GBC Reader Reviews
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