While I found Me Before You cute but a little cheesy, I found this novella and collection of short stories by the same author lovely. The book opens on Nell, a girl in her mid-twenties who is predictable and boring. For the first time in her life, she has decided to do something whimsical and planned a trip to Paris with her boyfriend. The problem is, her boyfriend is – pardon my French – a douche. My guess is he wouldn’t even call himself her boyfriend. Of course, this low life who probably only dates her to have a place to crash doesn’t even show up on the long weekend in a foreign country that she planned. Nell is devastated and immediately finds a return trip. But a comedy of errors forces her to stay and she finds herself turning into a whole new type of woman. It’s like a rom com and was fun to read particularly because it was short – a full novel would have been overkill, but this was just enough.
The eight short stories that follow offer their own glimpses into various love lives. In one, a woman converses with the robber holding her hostage in a jewelry store; in another, a woman delves into a client’s purported infidelity; in yet another, a woman vents to a cab driver about her husband’s impossible Christmas list. In many of the stories, the female characters discover a sense of empowerment. At the very least, they all find peace of mind.
3 out of 5 stars