Honeymoon in Paris Synopsis
At the heart of Jojo Moyes’ heartbreaking new novel, The Girl You Left Behind, are two haunting love stories – that of Sophie and Edouard Lefevre in France during the First World War, and, nearly a century later, Liv Halston and her husband David.
Honeymoon in Paris (self-contained novella) takes place several years before the events to come in The Girl You Left Behind when both couples have just married. Sophie, a provincial girl, is swept up in the glamour of Belle poque Paris but discovers that loving a feted artist like Edouard brings undreamt of complications. Following in Sophie’s footsteps a hundred years later, Liv, after a whirlwind romance, finds her Parisian honeymoon is not quite the romantic getaway she had been hoping for… (Amazon)
MINI BOOK REVIEW
To all my male readers – look away now, this is chick lit pure and simple.
I really enjoyed Jojo Moyes novel, The Peacock Emporium – it was compelling, mysterious and very well written contemporary women’s fiction. On the back of that I was eagerly awaiting the release of Moyes new novel The Girl You Left Behind on 27 September 2012 and thought I would get a sneak peek at the characters by reading this prequel novella.
I found Honeymoon in Paris itself quite sachrine, a little Disney. Moyes says herself on her website that when Penguin first raised the possibility of her doing a short book, she was dubious. I suspect the driver for the novella was marketing rather than a creative one. Moyes goes on to say however (and I’m summarising) that she grew to like the idea in the context of The Girl You Left Behind because it allowed her to introduce the main characters and she ‘hopes if you read the short book first, the second book becomes more poignant’.
I cannot yet report on whether reading the novella first makes your experience reading the primary title more poignant. I can however say the novella ‘product’ was a great marketing device for Penguin – not because of the Honeymoon in Paris story in its own right but due to the fact that it gave purchasers the opportunity to read the powerful first chapter of The Girl You Left Behind before its release. On the strength of the first chapter, Moyes back at her best, I then purchased the full novel as soon as it was released and am looking forward to diving back into Sophie’s story as soon as I have a few other review commitments out of the way.