Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She's never even been on a romantic weekend away—to anywhere—before. Traveling abroad isn't really her thing. But when Nell's boyfriend fails to show up for their mini-vacation, she has the opportunity to prove everyone—including herself—wrong. Alone in Paris, Nell finds a version of herself she never knew existed: independent and intrepid. Could this turn out to be the most adventurous weekend of her life?
I was in the midst of my yearning for Paris mood (which strikes me frequently throughout the year) when I pounced upon this book. "Paris for One" is the novella which takes up most of the pages and sure enough this delightful rendezvous soothed my ache. An overcautious young woman alone in Paris for the first time discovers she's braver and more adventurous than she thought. It has everything I wanted from a Parisian reading escape and entertained me enormously.
The rest of the short stories are also a mixture, some romantic, some of self-discovery. Some descend to darkness, but not too dark, before its hopeful ending.
One of the stories, “Holdups”, has my favorite dialogue:
’I realized pretty quickly I couldn’t marry a man without a bookshelf…in his house. Not even a little one in his loo for the Reader’s Digest…He didn’t have one book. Not even a true crime. Or a Jeffrey Archer. I mean, what does that tell you about someone’s character?’