After arranging a monthlong Paris vacation with her husband of 25 years, Grace discovers he’s cheating on her and takes the trip on her own.
Grace’s complicated childhood made her determined to carve out a picture-perfect life through organization and order. She loves being a happily married part-time French teacher with a college-bound daughter. So it’s a shock when, on Valentine’s Day, Grace shares her 25th wedding-anniversary surprise—a monthlong summer trip to Paris—and her husband David’s response is to tell her he’s having an affair and wants a divorce. Devastated, she decides to take the trip herself. In Paris, Grace’s purse is snatched and Audrey, a dyslexic English teen who can barely speak French, saves it. Audrey is living and working in the Paris bookshop Grace’s grandmother asked her to visit, and Grace winds up helping her during her shifts and renting an apartment over the shop. Audrey prods Grace to let go a little, gives her a makeover, and encourages her to meet up with her first lover. Grace inspires Audrey to explore some of her own talents and offers calm, affectionate support to the younger woman, whose home life has always been fraught thanks to an alcoholic mother. When simultaneous family crises happen, Audrey and Grace lean on each other and offer empathy and insight that lead to new possibilities on a variety of fronts. Morgan’s (The Christmas Sisters, 2018, etc.) new novel is an imaginative and charming coming-of-age—and greeting-middle-age—story with a bit of a fairy-tale feel, especially given the Paris setting. A few details ask readers to suspend disbelief, but for the most part, the story and characters are delightful enough that they won’t mind.
A cheerful and heartwarming look at friendship, family, love, and new beginnings.