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3.2 out of 5 stars
3.2 out of 5 stars
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on 4 April 2007
I hate the so called chick lit genre title because it's such off putting pigeon holing. This was a really well written book and you suprisingly find your sympathies constantly changing with the slip into the conciousness of each different character. I must admit that the cover did make it seem a lot more aluring: scandal, intrigue and the international jet set, but it was a little bit more down to earth that that, in a good way.

The view of Paris is very much of an outsider looking in, but it really does capture the spirit of the city.

If you're wanting something to distract you and hold your attention then this is a brilliantly entertaining novel.
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on 8 January 2007
For anyone who has lived in or knows Paris well, this book is a must! Kate Muir has cleverly used this beautiful city as a backdrop for a modern love story. From the first opening page I was taken back to the heart of Paris and felt I knew the characters and their attitude to life. An entertaining read that zips along at a rapid pace. Enjoy!
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on 4 August 2007
This, like many of my books, was picked for the beautiful cover. But from the moment I started reading I had an instant dislike for many of the chracters. I think it made them all the more interesting and all the more real. And certainly meant I read on and on to the end. i think Muir's style of writing was beautiful and suited the theme of the book. Overall I thought it was a brilliant in-sight into a couple's life.
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on 19 August 2007
I was seduced by the beautiful cover (tut tut) but the pages between were a bitter disappointment;

Handsome Philosopher, his beautiful and self-obsessed wife, their emotionally neglected daughter. The pretty nanny....the affair, oh quelle surprise!

The batty lady with the pet sparrows was the best character and she throws herself off the roof.

Dark, but not delightfully so.
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on 19 August 2008
Since visiting Paris for the first time a couple of years ago I have been fascinated by anything Parisian and am turning into quite a Francophile! Thus what prompted me to buy this book.

Kate Muir writes a rich descriptive tapestry evoking the Parisian cafes,the elegant ladies, the romantic men and essentially the spirit of Paris. All the smells of the rich coffee and freshly baked bread came wafting under my nose and made me want to teleport myself over there to be in that lovely environment again. All the while she entwines a very romantic story into this and I found it perfect as an 'escape novel'. This is a definite must buy if you love Paris as much as I do. Sigh.......
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on 8 September 2010
I would recommend this book to any one who has an interest in Paris and wants an insight into the daily lives of the rich and famous, as the vibe and feel of Parisian culture is portrayed beautifully, to a back drop of a deep understanding of the geography of Paris, and lustful description of glorious food.

However, the story line carried no real substance and I was disappointed. It may have been that Kate Muir was trying to expose the truth about the upper class culture of artists and philosophers, but it comes off the page as shallow and unfeeling. There is no positivity in this book, no happiness or amusement. All the characters, apart maybe with the exception of the house keeper, are self centred and arrogant, able to justify every thing to their own end, and leaving me feeling no sympathy or loyalty to any of them. The ending of the novel didn't seem to have any finality, I felt that the characters had gone on a journey, albeit a slightly slow one, and that the journey hadn't finished by the time the book ended.

To summarise, I was expecting a light hearted journey through Paris with the dysfunctional and beautiful Malin family, but this is not how the novel came across. Maybe some one who understands the culture so can relate to it more and has an interest in philosophy may enjoy the novel, as well as any one who appreciates the magnificent city of Paris. However for a read on a rainy afternoon chick lit, I did not find the characters or story compelling enough to transport me to Paris.
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on 6 November 2006
I can't believe that another reviewer thought this book didn't evoke Paris! As someone who knows the city well, it evoked it so poignantly for me that I was nearly in tears - and just wanted to leap on the next train over the Channel! From the backstreets to the boulangeries, the smells and tastes of Paris, as well as the sights, are beautifully described and permeate this story. The city is very far from being 'just a background' - this is very specifically a story about the mores of a certain type of Parisian.

I bought this specifically because it was set in Paris but I thought it was a cut above the usual chick-lit anyway; the reader's sympathies are delicately played with and the book gradually becomes something rather different from what you assumed it to be. It was also very funny! Highly recommended - and especially to anyone who loves Paris
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on 2 January 2014
A perfect exposition of over-the-top French relationships - marriages, mistresses, parents and children, gastrophiles and food. Don't let the fluffy cover fool you; this is a beautifully written yet accessible story that makes you lust for Paris and charcuterie in equal measure.
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on 28 October 2009
I picked this little gem up in a charity shop for 50p (heartily recommended to me several times over by a Francophile friend of mine). Whilst the pretty cover initially appealed to me, upon closer inspection the content didn't capture my interest at all and alas it sat gathering dust on my bookshelf for god knows how long.

I actually grabbed it last minute to take away on holiday as a 'beach book' and I'm so glad I eventually got around to reading it. After an initially slow beginning the book picks up speed. Paris is conjured so brilliantly through out the novel, with depictions of glamorous bistro's and seedy backstreets interwoven with the central theme of adultery and a failing marriage.

The characters trials and tribulations are set against a fabulous backdrop and they actually have substance to them that captures the readers imagination; they're also not always likeable which gives the storyline credibility in my opinion- no Mary Sue's here! In no way would I class this as 'chicklit' as that seems to imply the book is fluffy and light-hearted when it isn't. What this book is, is "fantastique" and I for one am glad I gave it a chance.
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on 11 July 2010
Enjoyed the book but not as good as West Coast which was just amazing. I read this whilst on holiday and just had to buy a copy to give the family.

Kate Muir is a firm favourite of mine
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