Audrey Hepburn said it best, “Paris is always a good idea.”
PARIS, HE SAID (Bloomsbury USA) by author, Christine Sneed is the story of Jayne Marks, a struggling American painter who gets to leave her stifling life in New York City for the City of Lights because of the generosity of a much older gentleman. There she is able to paint and since he owns two galleries, she’s reasonably confident, when she’s ready her work will be shown.
“Being here with him really did feel as if she had stepped into a story of enchantment. She had no idea how long it would last, but she tried not to dwell on this.”
Unlike her young American boyfriend, Colin back in NYC, Laurent is a man at ease with himself, charming and at command, he knows how to make money and how to spend it luxuriously. Laurent’s one stipulation for Jayne is, to not worry about what he does when he is not with her. At first, her new happiness covers any insecurities, but then she becomes suspicious and her jealousies surface. Jayne learns the names of Laurent’s previous lovers and meets some of his previous girlfriends at functions – so very French.
Jayne becomes friends with Laurent’s daughter, Jean-Lucie who also has a lover, as do most of the people Jayne meets in Paris. She believes that Laurent and Jean-Lucie are “cut from the same cloth,” they have a risk-taking nature, unapologetic serving self-interests first. Her American friends back in the States are shocked, but Jayne’s feelings shift over the course of the novel, as she learns to be what she believes is more sophisticated.
I love Paris and immensely enjoyed how Christine Sneed described the street activity, walking along the Seine, gardens, the pastries and the workers sitting on benches eating falafel at lunch. I also felt as if I was in the artist’s studio watching Jayne sketch and paint. She was so obsessed with cleaning her brushes; I was so there I could smell all the unique scents.
I got a bit lost when the narrative changed three-quarters into the novel to Laurent’s point of view and back to Jayne and then it felt like it just ended. The bottom line is Miss Jayne Marks gets what she wants. She gets her Paris show and sells six paintings. My first thought when I finished the novel, was a New York show is obviously the next step. So perhaps the ending makes sense after all.
I don’t believe sharing the above in my review is giving anything away. PARIS, HE SAID is not a thriller with twists and turns. It’s a lovely developed story with lush characters set in one of the most beautiful city’s in the world. Enjoy!
Thanks to NetGalley http://www.netgalley.com and Bloomsbury http://www.bloomsbury.com for providing a kindle copy of PARIS, HE SAID for an honest review. Check out http://www.christinesneed.com for all things CHRISTINE.
PARIS, HE SAID will be published May 5th. Now is the perfect time to pre-order it at your local bookstore or on-line.
You can read more of my reviews and news about my novel, “Viewer Discretion Advised” at http://www.cindyroesel.com