Title: A Paris Affair
Author: Tatiana de Rosnay
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This was a “Oh hey, that looks interesting” book I picked up at the library recently. It was thin, had an interesting cover, and reminded me a little of The Paris Wife, which is a book I have a very fond place in my heart for. (Sidenote: Isn’t it strange how sometimes we love a book because of the book itself, and sometimes because of how we read it? I read The Paris Wife on a train from Dublin to Galway a couple summers ago and I couldn’t even tell you if it’s a good book or not, because it was just a beautiful memory.) Anyway! Back to the book at hand, which is a collection of short stories about various affairs of the heart and the bedroom in the City of Love. It was…interesting, let’s put it that way.
I liked the structure of the book. The stories were written in different POVs and styles, which kept it fresh and kept them all from feeling too similar. There were no links in terms of character, just subject matter. Each book is about an affair. Some of them are straightforward, some involve the exchange of money, some are about revenge or self-discovery. I noticed that in almost every story, it was the man cheating. It was very much an “oh, that’s just how men are in Paris” feeling, which bothered me. But then, having never lived in Paris, I don’t know how true (or not) that sentiment is.
Overall, the stories were well-written and interesting. I liked the ones that were very conversational best, for the most part. An early one was almost like a monologue, a one-sided phone conversation where someone was trying to figure out if they should confront their SO about an affair or not. Another was a conversation between two women in a fancy salon, talking over tea about if revenge cheating counted. Some stories were stronger than others, but none were long enough to really get tiring. They were all little snapshots of the lives of these (mostly) unnamed people.
One that I really enjoyed was near the end. It was a woman who has to come to terms with her husband’s discovery of his own sexuality. A young wife and mother, deciding if she should let her husband find his own happiness, or try and make him stay. The writing, as with all the stories, was very simple and straightforward, but it still managed to convey a depth of emotion that I found lacking in many of the other stories.
Overall, I can’t say I liked this collection. I found it interesting, but at times, exhausting. You can’t read about affairs that much without feeling a little blue and wondering if love actually exists (which made for wonderful Valentines Day [Sidenote 2: Go see Deadpool.]).