26 Apr Thirty Days in Paris by Veronica Henry
Because we all need a dream to escape to …
What’s a middle-aged woman to do when she and her husband have separated and her grown-up children no longer need her?
Juliet is on the cusp of a new life – in some ways it is exciting, in other ways terrifying. She needs to decide what she now wants from life – and where better to do it than in Paris, the city she first travelled to as a naïve young 20 year old, longing for excitement and adventure?
Working as an au pair in Paris, she fell in love with the city, and with young French lad, Olivier, and for a while it seemed Juliet’s dreams would come true.
But then something happened – something she can hardly to bear to think about even now – and she fled the city, never to return, till now.
Now, settled in a pretty little Parisian air b&b, she has thirty days to reflect on what her future may hold for her – but how can she do that if she doesn’t confront the events of the past?
That means reaching out to people she once knew, people she felt she had betrayed, like her good friend Nathalie, and even Olivier. She has confessions to make and wrongs to right.
But maybe Paris owes her an apology, too …
Paris frightens and enthralls her
Told in dual timelines, this story explores Juliet’s life as a 20 year old ingénue, let loose in the streets of Paris, which alternatively frighten and enthral her as she gradually finds her feet with the charming Beaubois family, and begins to make friends with the locals.
Alternate chapters follow Juliet now, coming to terms with the amicable but still distressing end of her marriage. Paris no longer frightens her, still enthrals her, but she still sometimes feels lost there.
Paris for the second time proves to be a second rite of passage for Juliet as she finds her feet once more, makes new friends and searches out old ones.
And through her eyes, we, the readers, discover all the joys of Paris, too! Historic buildings, fresh food markets, vintage clothes shops, cafes and bars, cosy book stores, chic Parisians going about their daily lives – it’s all there for us to immerse ourselves in, in the ultimate city of romance.
And romance there is, in plenty! Juliet and Olivier’s first meeting is what the French call a coup de foudre. They fall in love at first sight, and we know it must have taken something seismic to separate them.
Veronica Henry keeps the suspense of the reveal going nicely as the narrative draws us back and forth from past to present, and though I loved Juliet’s back story, I think I liked the present-day tale even more. Maybe that’s because I secretly long for such a Parisian escape, too.
Presented with the freedom to rediscover her own potential, Juliet makes full use of the opportunity, making her a very empathetic character. She’s warm, caring and passionate about life, and a joy to get to know, as are Nathalie and Olivier, both as youngsters and older adults shaped by life’s triumphs and tragedies.
The story oozes sensuality
Thirty Days in Paris is the story of an enduring romance, told in an immersive way in which hidden sensuality oozes from the pages like an aromatic warm French cheese from its crusty layer.
But more than that, it is the story of one woman’s journey to understanding, resolution, self-forgiveness and finally, fulfilment.
It’s the kind of story that Veronica Henry is master of. She understands her heroines so well at any age that she makes them instantly recognisable, instantly empathetic and instantly loveable.
Juliet is no exception – in fact, she may be my favourite Veronica Henry heroine yet.
And Olivier is definitely my favourite hero! Smokin’ hot at 20 and at 50, so cool and enigmatic, yet so passionate and loyal, too. In a city of contrasts, he’s a hero of contrasts, and deserves his own happy ending.
But can it be with Juliet? Is thirty days enough to overcome the heartbreak of the events of thirty years ago, for either of them?
Dive into the covers of this gloriously romantic and passionate tale to find out.
Thirty Days in Paris is published by Orion in hardback, ebook and audio formats
About the Author
Veronica Henry has worked as a scriptwriter for The Archers, Heartbeat and Holby City amongst many others, before turning to fiction. She won the 2014 RNA Novel of the Year Award for A Night on the Orient Express and is a Sunday Times bestselling author of over twenty books. Veronica lives with her family in a village in north Devon and can often be found cooking up the perfect seaside feast.
Find out more at www.veronicahenry.co.uk
Thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me on this blogtour and to publishers Orion for the copy of the book.
Catch up with the rest of the blogtour at the links on the poster
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