Nell is not exactly adventurous; any choice requires planning and evaluating. But when her boyfriend suggests a trip to Paris together, she takes him up on it and buys the tickets. Unfortunately, Nell's boyfriend didn't really plan to take her to Paris at all and flakes out on the trip, leaving poor Nell in the City of Lights all by herself! Now Nell is faced with a choice: head home, defeated (which is what she'd normally do), or stay and enjoy the experience.
Jojo Moyes's latest is a collection of shorts headlined by the title story described above. It's a cute collection, a bit too cute in some instances, but overall quite enjoyable. Each tale is about discovery - discovery of self, discovery of secrets - and growth, in one way or another.
Nell's tale is charming and definitely the best of the bunch, in part due to the fact that it's also the longest, allowing the reader to get to know Nell and the people around her. This is something Moyes definitely accomplishes with the rest of the stories as well, but spending more time with Nell does endear the reader more to her story, without a doubt.
Aside from "Paris" my two favorite stories were "Crocodile Shoes," wherein a mixup of bags ends up giving a woman a leg up in the job and confidence department, and "The Christmas List," which is quite perfect for this time of year! There, a good deed leads a harried character to make a big decision.
Longtime fans of Moyes's would no doubt prefer a full novel in hand, but Paris For One will definitely tide readers over until then. Plus, short stories (and sweet and feel good stories in particular) are perfect for this time of year!
Here's the full table of contents:
"Paris for One"
"Between the Tweets"
"Love in the Afternoon"
"A Bird in the Hand"
"Last Year's Coat"
"Thirteen Days with John C"
"The Christmas List"