Friday, January 6, 2017

Book Review: Paris for One

I've never read anything by JoJo Moyes. I picked up Me Before You at the library once because I thought it best to read the book before seeing the movie, but alas I never read the book or saw the movie. After reading Paris for One, I might be more inclined to do so.

Paris for One is a novella, packaged with a few other short stories. The back cover proclaims Kirkus Reviews as saying Moyes is a "Maeve Binchy for the twenty-first century." I can understand the comparison. Moyes presents characters and relationships in such a way that you feel as if you've known them for years or are simply eavesdropping on their lives. Indeed, just last month, I tossed aside a posthumously-published Binchy book of short stories, A Few of the Girls (they must assume that Binchy fans are so desperate for more that they will be satiated with hidden manuscripts found in her desk drawers. The stories were not the quality of her typical work and I wonder if she isn't turning over in her grave at their unpolished presentation to the world). After setting that book of short stories aside without finishing it, I was pleased to be fully engrossed in this author's fare.

I think my favorite stories were the final two, but all the stories were believable and entertaining. The author has managed to tap into the complexity of relationships and often, with a twist in the tale. Thus, I would bill her as a one-level removed Jeffrey Archer/Maeve Binchy blend (meaning she's not quite at their level, but not bad). Highly readable and satisfyingly entertaining.

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