ARC Review: ONE SUMMER IN PARIS by Sarah Morgan
Also by this author: The Christmas Sisters
Published by Hqn on April 9, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Romance
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.
ONE SUMMER IN PARIS Review:
As soon as I saw the title of Sarah Morgan’s latest book, One Summer in Paris, I hit the request button on Netgalley. Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world, and I’ve wanted to go back there ever since I first visited several years ago. I read Sarah Morgan’s The Christmas Sisters this past winter and based on the way she transported me to the Scottish Highlands in that book, I knew she was the perfect choice to take me back to Paris. Once I actually stopped flailing about the book being set in Paris and read the synopsis, I knew I was going to love it.
One Summer in Paris follows two women, 47 year old Grace and 18 year old Audrey, both of whom are in Paris for the summer. Grace is supposed to be in Paris for a month with her husband, David, to celebrate their 25th anniversary. However, when Grace presents David with the tickets for the Paris trip, David informs her that he is having an affair and wants a divorce. Grace is devastated but decides to pluck up her courage and go to Paris alone. Audrey is also dealing with some issues at her home in London that have left her feeling unloved and just wanting to get away and taste freedom for a while. She decides that she needs an adventure, and even though she doesn’t speak the language, she boldly decides that she wants to live and work in Paris for the summer. When Grace and Audrey unexpectedly cross paths in Paris, they form an immediate and unlikely friendship that will change both of their lives.
The friendship between Grace and Audrey was what really made this book such a winner for me. Their personalities in many ways are polar opposites, with Audrey being the bold and daring one, while Grace is overly cautious and has lived an almost sheltered life. I really loved how even though Grace was 47 and Audrey was only 18, Audrey teaches Grace just as many life lessons as Grace teachers her, and it was just so heartwarming to watch them support each other. Audrey, who is a whiz with hair, makeup, and fashion, helps Grace really come out of her shell and enjoy her time in Paris to the fullest, while Grace, who is a language teacher, helps Audrey start to learn French so that she can more independently live and work in the city. Grace becomes the mother figure Audrey has never really had, and Audrey becomes the BFF that Grace has never had.
You knew Paris was going to make my list of highlights, right? Morgan describes the “City of Lights” perfectly, capturing everything about the city that makes it such a magical and romantic destination for so many. Between her lush descriptions of baguettes, croissants, delicious cheeses, and wine, and picnics by the Seine River, and her picture-perfect portrayal of iconic French landmarks and gently curving side streets that lead to charming bookstores and bistros, Morgan will make you feel like you are right in the heart of Paris.
I know those who follow my blog will be surprised to see romance in my highlights section, but Morgan has woven two of my favorite kinds of romance into this story and really did both of them very well. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I’m just going to say First Love and Second Chance Romance, and leave it at that. 😊
I love a story that is filled with complicated relationships and this book is chock full of them. There are complicated family relationships, as well as complicated romantic relationships. This is an uplifting and heartwarming story overall, but it also has its fair share of drama because of these relationships, which I think help ground the story and keep it from becoming saccharine sweet. Although, that said, I will say that I cried happy tears more than once as I got closer and closer to the end.
My only real complaint about One Summer in Paris was that a couple of plot points were a little predictable. They took the story in ways I wanted it to go, however, so they didn’t really bother me too much.
I think One Summer in Paris is the perfect read for anyone who enjoys an engaging story about complicated family relationships, the importance of friendship, love, and above all else, a story about taking chances and finding oneself. It’s light enough to be a perfect summer/beach read, but it still has plenty of weight to it because of what both women are going through.
“Morgan is a masterful storyteller, and readers will be fully immersed in this realistic but magical summer in Paris. Packed full of love, loss, heartbreak, and hope, this may just be Morgan’s best book yet. For fans of Jojo Moyes, Taylor Jenkins Reid, and Stacey Ballis” -Booklist Review on One Summer in Paris.
USA TODAY bestselling author Sarah Morgan returns with this heartwarming novel about the power of friendship, love and what happens when an ending is just the beginning…
To celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, Grace has planned the surprise of a lifetime for her husband—a romantic getaway to Paris. But she never expected he’d have a surprise of his own: he wants a divorce. Reeling from the shock but refusing to be broken, a devastated Grace makes the bold decision to go to Paris alone.
Audrey, a young woman from London, has left behind a heartache of her own when she arrives in Paris. A job in a bookshop is her ticket to freedom, but with no money and no knowledge of the French language, suddenly a summer spent wandering the cobbled streets alone seems much more likely…until she meets Grace, and everything changes.
Grace can’t believe how daring Audrey is. Audrey can’t believe how cautious newly single Grace is. Living in neighboring apartments above the bookshop, this unlikely pair offer each other just what they’ve both been missing. They came to Paris to find themselves, but finding this unbreakable friendship might be the best thing that’s ever happened to them…
I wasn’t sure if I should add this book. Thanks, Suzanne for helping me decide to get it after all. Wonderful review 💜
Jonetta (Ejaygirl) | Blue Mood Café recently posted…In the Waning Light by Loreth Anne White
I really hope you enjoy it. I read the entire book in two sittings I loved it so much.
This sounds lovely especially the friendship. Great review!
Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer recently posted…Sinister Summer by Colleen Gleason
Thanks! Yes, that friendship was really special.
I’ve not read Sarah Morgan before, but this particular story line and setting is enough to pull me in. Glad you loved it. 🙂
Sophia Rose recently posted…Sophia Rose Review: Ghosts Gone Wild by Danielle Garrett, Narrated by Amanda Ronconi
Thanks, me too!
I love how you’ve described this one, Suzanne. I have it to read and can’t wait to pick it up. It sounds like the perfect escape!
It’s a really heartwarming read. I hope you love it!
I read The Christmas Sisters a couple months ago and it fell into the liked-it-didn’t-love-it category for me. And I decided I probably wouldn’t pick up anything else by Morgan but I have so many other books that I am super excited to read. I think your review has managed to change my mind, Suzanne! I love the sound of the friendship between Grace and Audrey and I already want to know more. I’ll be hitting up my library for this one.
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…Review: The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves
As much as I enjoyed The Christmas Sisters, I thought this book was so much better. That friendship really was something special.
Ahh, Paris! One day I will go, but until then, I’ll have to read books like this!
Angela recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Cover Love
This one does a great job of making you feel like you’re there. 🙂