Book Review -P.S. From Paris

SUMMARY

When Mia finally runs out of patience with her cheating husband, she packs her bags and escapes to Paris to stay with her best friend Daisy. As an actress she knows the value of escaping into a good role. So she dyes her hair, changes her appearance and takes up waitressing in Daisy’s restaurant all while bemoaning her bad luck in love.

Paul is an expat American author living in Paris. His initial publication success mingled with his shyness drove him across the sea to hide out in the City of Love. His subsequent novels are only popular in South Korea, so it doesn’t interfere with his introverted lifestyle.

Thanks to an interfering friend, Paul meets Mia in a blind date arrangement neither is aware of. After much confusion, they enter into a strangely defined friendship which helps both of them cope with their lonely and sad personal lives. But although they are drawn to each other, Mia and Paul’s path to a more meaningful relationship is strewn with obstacles, not the least of which is themselves.

MY THOUGHTS

P.S. from Paris is my first book by French author Marc Levy, but it certainly won’t be my last. Even though the premise makes the story sound angst-y and full of drama, it was the exact opposite. I found myself laughing out loud throughout the adventures of Paul and Mia. In fact, this book very much reminded me the screwball comedies of classic Hollywood; full of fast-paced dialogue, ridiculous situations and hidden identities.

Much like those early comedies, there is not much in the way of emotional descriptions. The reader instead learns of the inner life of Paul and Mia more through subtle clues; an oblique verbal statement, a quiet and private action.

Both Mia and Paul are quirky enough to be interesting, yet normal enough to be relatable. Although at first Mia’s self-absorption and whininess, disposed me to dislike her, that faded after she met Paul. I do feel that she treated Daisy in a shabby manner. But aside from that I really enjoyed watching Mia’s transformation. And she does have the excuse of being an actress. I mean, they tend to be drama queens, right?

Anyone who knows me, knows I love anything French, particularly Paris. So, it was a given that this P.S. from Paris caught my interest.  But it was the humor, brisk pace, exploration of universal emotions and even a more serious side story regarding Paul’s Korean translator which kept me interested. I also appreciate how the author made Paris feel personal by focusing on specific neighborhoods rather than trying to capture the entire city in the story line.

Since the author himself is French and publishes in French, I must applaud the translation of this novel. It is so well done, that I would never have guessed that it wasn’t originally published in English.

Overall, P.S from Paris was a lovely surprise. I love discovering authors I’ve never read before. I can certainly understand why Marc Levy is one of the best selling authors in France. If you are looking for a story with international flavor, adventure and laughter, then you can’t go wrong with this one.

Content Note: There are a few profanities sprinkled in and a couple of scenes of implied intimacy behind closed doors.

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