PARIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA – Nicolas Barreau
A Perfect 10
St. Martin's Griffin
Rosalie Laurent's mother had high hopes for her intelligent, outgoing daughter, but Rosalie had other plans. Thanks to her doting aunt who gave her water colors as a young child, Rosalie loves art, and especially loves the color blue. Her independent streak sends her to a quiet little street in St. Germain where she rents a tiny store, with an equally tiny apartment above it, and opens a post-card shop which she calls Luna Luna. Her specialty is designing and drawing “wishing cards”. Her own wishing cards she takes to the top of the Eiffel Tower annually on her birthday, sending down hopes for good health for her family, or wishes to win a prestigious art competition, or to meet the man of her dreams who would wine and dine her at the Le Jules Verne restaurant at the top of the Tower. But none of these have come true so far, for even her aunt lost her eyesight, and her boyfriend of three years, Rene, is nice, but hardly the man of her dreams.
And then into Luna Luna stumbles Max Marchais, elderly author of children's stories, who has been sent by his publisher to look at Rosalie's drawings for a new book. Max knows right away that her talent would be very compatible with his idea for the story. And, just like that, Rosalie's life makes an about turn. Enchanted with Rosalie, and looking forward to life again since the death of his wife, Max embraces the new challenge.
Robert Sherman has arrived in Paris to be interviewed for a position as a guest professor of literature at the Sorbonne. His family business is law, and his late father had probably assumed Robert would step into the firm, but although he went to law school, Robert's heart was not in it. His girlfriend expects him to join the firm, and expects to be married in the fall. However, Robert wanted to test the waters in Paris first. His mother had been French and had taken him to Paris when he was a young boy after the death of his father. They had always planned to visit again, but his mother died after a three month illness. Robert's arrival in the City of Lights is anything but wonderful, though. He accidentally finds himself looking in the window of a small shop in St. Germain and sees a children's book displayed that sends him into fury. It's the story his mother told him as a child at bedtime every night! When he confronts the indignant shop owner, pretty as she is, he threatens to sue.
Rosalie is furious at the American's accusations. She will discover the truth, and she knows that she will win out.
I loved this enchanting, beautifully written, character-driven novel. I read it in short order as I couldn't put it down. Rosalie is a delightful woman, proud of her achievements and determined to live the life she loves in the city she loves. Max has a new lease on life, and he enjoys having a future once more. And Robert, who, much like Rosalie, wants to do what he loves, but has to discover for himself if he has the strength to do so. In the background is beautiful Paris, the perfect setting for love, mystery, and enchantment.