My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’m generally not a fan of short stories, they’re far too short, so why I decided to pick up this collection is probably a fair question. The answer was very simple, Jojo Moyes. I absolutely love Jojo Moyes writing and think I have read pretty much every book she’s written. I was therefore very curious to see what she would do with the shorter format. It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been really let down by a favorite authors attempt at a short story but thankfully Moyes didn’t disappoint.
This collection includes 11 stories, 9 short stories and 2 novellas, all of which I enjoyed. I always think Moyes has an amazing ability to create very real characters but also to capture the feelings and emotions in a particular moment in time and this was demonstrated in every one of the stories. I didn’t always like the characters, the situations weren’t necessarily unique but they were all well written and drew you in, even in just a few pages.
Some are a bit better than others, I get the impression some were written quite a while ago for magazines etc so feel different to her more recent works but they were still good to read. I have to admit the highlights for me (short story hater that I am) were the novellas, Paris for One and Honeymoon in Paris.
Paris for One is about a woman Nell who’s planned a romantic weekend in Paris with her boyfriend but gets stood up at the last moment and ends up going alone. As someone whose control freakery knows no bounds and who loves pro/con lists I could definitely relate to Nell and found myself willing her to take a chance and live a little. It’s quite a sweet and fun story and while it’s not the most original, I absolutely adored it.
Honeymoon in Paris is actually a prequel to The Girl You Left Behind which I read a while ago and loved. It’s set in two different time periods and tells the story of two couples during a slightly rocky honeymoon period. It was so good to get to know these characters before the events of the book and I particularly loved the relationship between Edouard and Sophie.
The other stories are good but as they are only around 10-20 pages long there’s not really much to say about them.
Overall, definitely worth reading for the novellas or if you’re a fan of Jojo Moyes.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy. All views are my own.
Synopsis (from NetGalley)
A collection of 11 unmissable short stories from the number 1 internationally bestselling author of Me Before You and After You.
Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She’s never even been on a romantic weekend away-to anywhere-before. Travelling abroad isn’t really her thing. But when Nell’s boyfriend fails to show up, she has the chance to prove to everyone-including herself- that she can be independent and intrepid. Alone in Paris, Nell finds a version of herself she never knew existed . . .
In the ten other stories, Jojo Moyes introduces us to a cast of strong, relatable women in the midst of their everyday lives. In Honeymoon in Paris, featuring characters from her bestselling novel, The Girl You Left Behind, Liv and Sophie – though decades apart – both find that marriage is only the beginning of their love stories. In Crocodile Shoes, a businesswoman’s blossoming confidence emerges from a fateful changing-room mix-up. And in both Love in the Afternoon and A Bird in the Hand, two couples dance around the trickiness of long-time marriage. In this irresistible collection, readers will be whisked from elegant perfume shops to taxis to five-star hotel rooms and more. Jojo Moyes always makes the ordinary moments in life extraordinary. Funny, charming, and unmissable, Paris for One and Other Stories is Moyes at her best.