Moyes (After You, 2015, etc.) explores the lives of unsatisfied women in this collection of short stories and a novella.
In the title novella, a young woman named Nell plans a romantic weekend trip to Paris only to find out that her jerk of a boyfriend made a last-minute decision not to accompany her. Although Nell typically plays it safe, she eventually decides to enjoy her time in Paris alone. Her newfound sense of adventure allows her to enjoy the romance and excitement of the city (and a new man). Most of the short stories here follow a similar format: a woman who is unsatisfied with her relationship stumbles into a new situation or makes an out-of-character decision. One woman runs into an old lover at a party, one wears another woman’s shoes and experiences surprising results, and another ends up involved in a bank robbery. Women try out new identities, styles, and relationships and then either make triumphant changes or realize how wonderful their lives really were in the first place. This leads to a series of stories that can feel a bit homogenous, but Moyes’ engaging writing keeps things enjoyable. While there's nothing earth-shattering in this collection, it’s a pleasant and charming read.
Me Before You fans searching for the same emotional intensity should probably look elsewhere, but these stories make for a diverting treat while waiting for Moyes to write her next tear-jerker.