Book Bingo 2019 is a collaboration challenge I am completing with my favourite bloggers, Theresa Smith Writes and The Book Muse. Each Saturday, on a fortnightly basis, beginning on Saturday 5th January 2019, Ashleigh, Theresa and I will complete a book review post, outlining our respective bingo card entries. The Book Bingo 2019 card contains a total of 30 squares, which we will complete over the course of the year, with the aim to complete the whole card by the end of December. Two of the Book Bingo entries this year will be flexible, so that means it is completely down us as to when we post these entries, to ensure all 30 are ticked off by the end of the year. Do keep an eye out on our respective blog sites for our bonus round entries! To keep things interesting for ourselves and those following along with us, the choice of bingo square to be covered will be entirely down to us, there is no crossover – that is planned anyway! However, as Ashleigh, Theresa and I enjoy similar books, especially books by Australian women writers, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we end up with more than one book double up, as was the case in 2018! We invite you to join us in this fun book related challenge, by linking your bingo card entries in the comments section of this post, tagging us on social media, or by visiting The Book Muse and Theresa Smith Writes.
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 neighbouring 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…
One Summer in Paris is my first turn with USA today bestselling author Sarah Morgan. With an extended backlist to her name, Sarah Morgan’s latest publication caught my eye due to the attractive setting of Paris, which is my favourite city in the world. One Summer in Paris is a touching rendition to female friendship, the sense of self, adversity, new beginnings and love.
Grace, the central character of Sarah Morgan’s One Summer in Paris, is about to celebrate a milestone, her twenty fifth wedding anniversary. With a surprise trip to Paris on the cards, which Grace has lovingly organised for her dear husband, things come crashing down when he makes a shock admission. Grace’s husband has been cheating on her with a much younger woman, and now he wants a divorce. Grace is left reeling, but she still resolves to make the trip to Paris. Running alongside Grace’s life story, is that of Audrey, a young woman who hails from London. A broken heart has sent Audrey in the direction of beautiful Paris. When Audrey scores a position in a French bookshop she thinks all her problems will go away. However, the language barrier, isolation and a lack of funds all contributes to Audrey’s dissatisfaction with her bold move to Paris. When Grace and Audrey’s lives cross, it is a godsend for both women. Trading advice, offering each other unconditional support and exploring Paris together, these two women become inseparable. Together, they realise life does go on after the bad times and Paris is just the place to rediscover themselves.
When I opened One Summer in Paris, I immediately got a warm and inviting feeling from this novel. The style of writing struck me as engaging and embracing. One Summer in Paris is an undemanding read. Sarah Morgan’s latest is a light touch book that I was able to turn to midweek when my schedule was full of work, chores and after school activities. One Summer in Paris lifted me up and raised my spirits.
I really felt for poor Grace, one of the leads of this story. Grace is hit by a life changing blow in the early sequences of this book and my heart definitely went out to her. I thought Grace handled the situation she was forced to confront with measured dignity. I admired that she was able to embark on her trip to Paris solo, despite her changed circumstances. I’m not sure if I could do this personally, but One Summer in Paris is a book that makes you think hard about how you would react to the same set of circumstances the characters in the book face. Morgan’s approach is definitely relatable, and connective.
Grace shares her narration with Audrey, a much younger woman from London who is nursing a broken heart when we meet her. I also admired Audrey’s mindset and her ability to seize the day. Audrey’s decision to take a chance on a new life abroad was wonderful to oversee. When Audrey lands a dream job in a bookshop I was pleased for her, but she encounters more than a few teething problems, which makes the story interesting. I did wonder how Morgan was going to link the lives of the two leads together, but thankfully this was a great part of the novel. Morgan really concentrates on female friendship – in all its forms, this one seemed unlikely, but it seems to flourish. There is a nice underlying message about overcoming lost love, nursing a broken heart and finding hope through the healing power of friendship.
If you are a lover of all things Parisian, this novel will definitely draw appeal. I have visited Paris twice, yet my desire to go again was piqued by Morgan’s book. Morgan sends the reader on full a journey through the streets and key locales of one of Europe’s most well-known cities. Along the way, the reader will find their senses activated by the sights, sounds and smells of this magical locale.
There is a certain amount of predictability prevalent in this novel, but on the whole I found One Summer in Paris to be agreeable. The characters were appealing and this includes the secondary set too. The link to Grace’s grandmother Mimi via a sub narrative thread was a nice touch on behalf of the author, as it adds another layer to this tale. The fitting end offered plenty of closure for the characters and their lives.
One Summer in Paris reminds us of the power of unlikely friendships, the ability of the human spirit to triumph in the face of life’s setbacks and to believe in yourself. Sarah Morgan’s delightful new novel will leave you with lasting feelings of hope and happiness.
*** 3.5 stars
One Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan was published on 2nd May 2019 by Mira – AU. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.
To learn more about the author of One Summer in Paris, Sarah Morgan, visit here.