You only need two or three details to set the scene. More than that and you can lose the reader’s interest.
P.S. From Paris by Marc Levy tells the story of a young married actress, Mia, who escapes her world and goes to France incognito in order to get away from her cheating husband and a young writer, Paul, from America whose involved in an on and off again romantic relationship with his Korean translator. With a cast of quirky characters, including both main characters’ best friends, the book definitely has an intriguing pull in. Unfortunately, as far as the characters go, for me they really just dulled the entire novel.
The initial plot was rather minimal. I was sympathetic to Mia’s misfortunes, but it quickly grew old and uninteresting. She spends much of her time pretending to be a different person, something that comes rather easily to her considering her choice of career and eventually meets Paul via a dating website which his friend, concerned for his own wellbeing, had signed him up for without his knowledge. The book follows a get-to-know-you path, though there doesn’t really seem to be much happening apart from the two characters learning about each other, albeit what Paul learns of Mia is not entirely factual.
And neither character was interesting enough to me for this to be an enjoyable read. It was very real, I think, and definitely captured the characters in a way that I believe could actually happen…but it bored me to death. The most interesting piece of the novel came from a plot twist later on toward the end involving the Korean translator, but it was so out of the blue and unrelated to the rest of the book that it felt vastly out of place. Personally, I feel that if the book had been more focused on this minor plot point, it would have been infinitely better. But then the main characters really wouldn’t have been the main characters after all.
Maybe this book just wasn’t for me, but I had a hard time getting through it. If this is any indication of what the rest of his novels are like, I doubt I’ll be reading any more Marc Levy.
I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.