I finished this in a day because I was so intrigued and so completely engaged from the beginning. After I finished, I went back and forth on whether this was a “really liked” or “loved” for me and I ended on “loved.” Dolan tells such a complete story and what a beautiful story it turns out to be! MC Joan Blakely shines in this story as the daughter of a brilliant artist (father) who died tragically in 9/11 and a model/photographer mother. Personally, I loved all of the characters and the way she mixes in real-life people and events with her own fictional characters and events.
The novel opens fairly quickly with the end of her marriage, and Joan is eventually sent to Paris as a courier to deliver sketches from the museum she works for. What awaits her is an adventurous, romantic mystery that she has to try to figure out–much to her chagrin. The story of her parents is weaved throughout the novel as well as her own remembrances of them and her marriage as she is having her Paris adventure. At times, the memories and flashbacks felt a little long, but not so much so that I was bored.
This is lightly compared to “The Goldfinch” but beyond art and an air of mystery, I found them really different…which is great as I disliked and DNF’d The Goldfinch. While I wasn’t married, my boyfriend of almost three years dumped me last week, and so this was a great read for me right now. It is at times funny, mysterious, charming, and sad, and made me want to book a flight to Paris! I almost rated it a little less because the ending did not go quite as I wanted it to…but the ending still makes sense and is quite nice.
I recommend if you need to live vicariously through a fictional character’s Parisian adventure!