One Summer in Paris is a lovely, easy read that is perfect for fans of Susan Mallery, Elin Hilderbrand or Mary Kay Andrews. I was delighted to receive a review copy from NetGalley. (As usual, all opinions are my own. And yes, this review does include affiliate links should you want to grab a copy for yourself!)
Published by HQN Books on April 9, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, General
Buy on Amazon
Buy from your local independent bookstore via Bookshop.org
“Morgan is a masterful storyteller... For fans of Jojo Moyes, Taylor Jenkins Reid, and Stacey Ballis”
-Booklist Review on One Summer in Paris
USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan returns with this heartwarming novel about the power of friendship, love and what happens when an ending is just the beginning…
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…
In One Summer in Paris, two very different women escape from their current lives and travel to Paris. In doing so, each discovers herself.
The chapters alternate between two female characters. Author Sarah Morgan does an excellent job balancing the two storylines which intersect midway through the book. They are an unlikely duo, but each finds something they need in the other, and the friendship works.
Grace is a planner, an organizer, the one who takes care of everyone. And who on the night of her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary her husband asks for a divorce. She opts to go alone on the well-planned, expensive trip to Paris that was her anniversary gift to her husband. Both she and her free-spirited grandmother Mimi each have a bit of history with the city, and so she escapes.
Audrey is a scrappy young British girl, who is escaping a home life that has been less that ideal. She is independent and maybe a bit rough around the edges, used to taking care of herself in light of growing up with a mostly absent, alchoholic mother. Shortly after graduation, almost broke, Audrey escapes to Paris for a fresh start. There, she takes a job in a small bookshop, ironic because as a dyslexic she hates books. Oh, and she speaks virtually no French, so she plans to just wing it.
Spoiler: she does not wing it, and lands herself in a bigger mess. She’s a fighter, and you will find yourself rooting for her as much as she makes you cringe.
It was a plot that felt familiar at the start – mostly Grace’s escape from the hurt and disappointment of her failed marriage into the beauty of Paris, where she spent time in college and fell in love, leaving behind a man she thought was her soulmate. But as the story progresses, it takes an unusual turn and becomes much more complicated than I anticipated. As usual, Morgan does a wonderful job with character development, and the women are flawed but relatable. The romance elements of a story really take a backseat to each character’s journey of self-discovery.
One Summer In Paris is a heartwarming, delightful read, and if I have any complaint, it might be that one of the storylines wraps up a bit too happily-ever-after, and while I’m not sure how I would do it differently, I guess Sarah Morgan has more belief in others and the power of forgiveness than I do!
I really enjoyed this novel and think it would make the perfect vacation read! Interested? Click here to buy on Amazon or here to find your nearest Indie bookstore!