An ex–New York fashion designer heads to the City of Light in search of love.
Climbing onto Manhattan’s A-list, Klein has accumulated the perfect loft space, a closet full of gorgeous duds and a debonair French boyfriend—somewhere along the way, she dropped her first name in a fit of extreme affectation. Klein counts exclusive fashion houses among her consulting clients and commands a top salary. But when she takes a moment to reflect upon her life, she’s sobered to find that though her closet is full, her heart is empty. She wonders what happened to her dreams of having a family and becoming a painter. Paris is the answer to these nagging questions, she decides. So she packs up her belongings and her cat, Puccini, and jets off to reinvent herself in the City of Light. The cultural jet lag she suffers makes for some hearty chuckles. Klein has a habit of mutilating the French language and fumbling when it comes to French customs. On the hunt for the future father of her children, she quickly strings together a series of dead-end relationships. Running through the eligible-bachelor population of Paris, as well as her savings, she’s forced to come to terms with her own failings. It’s a joy to see Klein toss aside the all-night parties and blossom into a self-reliant woman. Lobe treats the reader to a fabulous tour of Paris and delivers mouth-watering passages about the glories of French cuisine. From the simple pleasure of a sunset along the Seine to the decadent treat of shopping on St.-Germain, this writer knows her setting. (In fact, Lobe is an erstwhile Calvin Klein designer who moved to Paris to pursue her artistic dreams.) Her prose could be tightened up, and the overgrowth of parenthetical asides could be pruned, but these rookie mistakes don’t seriously mar what is a strong debut.
There’s something for everyone in this witty novel: red-hot love scenes, glorious depictions of Parisian sights and a snappy story.