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A Paris Affair


A Paris Affair

Several books ago, I fell in love with Tatiana de Rosnay’s writing. I adored the way she made the city of Paris not just a setting in her books but another character as well. She evoked this wonderful sense of place and, in some cases, a moment in time. In A PARIS AFFAIR, she works much the same magic, but with this collection of 11 short stories, she takes the idea of Paris being a wonderfully romantic city full of love waiting to happen and turns it on its axis. This time, it’s more about the raw emotions, passions and sex.

In several of the stories, love hardly plays a role, and it becomes more about the complex nature of human relationships and what happens when commonly held expectations are thrown away and, in other cases, adhered to. There’s guilt, there’s hate, there are decisions to be made when one’s life is forever changed --- sometimes it’s those decisions that turn life on its head.

"The next time de Rosnay writes a short story collection, I’m full on in. These stories are delightfully wicked in a wonderful storied way."

The stories are evenly split with both men and women portrayed as cheaters and in all-around unkind ways. I was happy to see one affair deal with a gay relationship as well. No one is off the hook for cheating here --- and, yes, it’s an element of every story, even if the actual act isn’t.

A few of my favorites are “Hotel Room,” “The Red Notebook” and “The Brunette from Rue Raynouard,”but you truly can’t go wrong with any of them.

In “Hotel Room,” a cheating man decides to end his years-long affair, but just as he believes himself free and clear with few repercussions, disaster strikes. Will his confession be the true end? “The Red Notebook” is a fascinating look at how using sex for revenge can, and will, backfire and what living in the aftermath means to all the individuals involved. Life should not have been thought of as simply boring for one character. “The Brunette from Rue Raynouard”brings new technology and ideas into the mix and demonstrates how a simple text can bring so much confusion and pain, then understanding and compassion.

While the common theme among these stories is easy to pinpoint as an affair, it’s not the only string that pulls them together. There’s so much tension, disappointment and, in some cases, rage that each story will make you uncomfortable, mad and wanting more.

The next time de Rosnay writes a short story collection, I’m full on in. These stories are delightfully wicked in a wonderful storied way. It’s all about love going straight to hate and so intensely passionate that it’s easy to absorb this tiny book in what feels like one huge setting. A PARIS AFFAIR is an emotional ride and so fantastic.

Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski on July 6, 2015

A Paris Affair
by Tatiana de Rosnay

  • Publication Date: July 5, 2016
  • Genres: Fiction, Romance, Short Stories
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  • ISBN-10: 1250093872
  • ISBN-13: 9781250093875