Author: Karen Snow
Publisher: William Morrow
Type of book: travel, self discovery, New York, London, Paris, friendships between women, modeling, cooking, elegance, cultures, dating, trauma, 2000s, language of flowers
Year it was published: 2011
What do you do when the man you pledged your life to breaks your heart and shatters your dreams? You pack your bags and travel the big, wide world to find your destiny--and your true love . . .
Ten years ago, a young and naive Cassie married her first serious boyfriend, believing he would be with her forever. Now her marriage is in tatters and Cassie has no career or home of her own. Though she feels betrayed and confused, Cassie isn't giving up. She's going to take control of her life. But first she has to find out where she belongs . . . and who she wants to be.
Over the course of one year, Cassie leaves her sheltered life in rural Scotland to stay with her best friends living in the most glamorous cities in the world: New York, Paris, and London. Exchanging comfort food and mousy hair for a low-carb diet and a gorgeous new look, Cassie tries each city on for size as she searches for the life she's meant to have . . . and the man she's meant to love.
Unfortunately the story is not character driven, as odd as it seems, and its more compare and contrast between the three cities rather than what and why drives the characters to do what they did.The main characters are Cassie who is best described as blank slate throughout the process. She has been married to a manipulative man and discovered some very ugly truths about his secrets. She is forgiving, loyal and kind to her friends. One of her longings has always been to have a child. Kelly is a New York girl who is obsessed with working out, running out, dieting and partying. She also has her own fashion company of sorts? Anouk is an elegant Parisian woman who has very unconventional viewpoints as well as terrible secrets of her own. I have to admit that she is the most intriguing character and I would have liked to see more of her transformation in the book rather than that of Cassie's. Anouk has her own jewelry business. Suzy is closest to Cassie and she lives in London and has a younger brother named Henry. She is very kind and giving and loves to create happily ever afters for people. To modern day standards, Suzy is the most realistic. While the men did play roles, aside from Henry, none had any memorable scenes and they were designed to be caricatures, at least for me, instead of full fledged characters.
People are adaptable
The story is in third person narrative from Cassie's point of view, although once in a while other characters do speak, but its not very often. The story is also divided into three parts, and it wasn't a boring or an exhausting read at all. The two hefty sections focus on life in New York and Paris, while London barely gets any mention, much to mine disappointment. The story is both safe and predictable, although I do promise that its a cut above an average women's literature book. More focus is on friendships between the women rather than relationships as well as different beauty rituals and thoughts that were used in New York and Paris which I've found pretty fascinating.
About Karen Swan
Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and an ADHD puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest in Sussex, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs. Her first novel, Players, was published in 2010, followed by Prima Donna andChristmas at Tiffany’s in 2011.
I have to say that the summary and the story seem to disguise the fact that the story is far more deeper than one expects: I enjoyed reading the book a great deal, especially learning the difference in cultures between that of New York and Paris and how Cassie seems to be attempting to take best from both of them away. The book also focuses a lot on women's friendships and for me was an easy and engaging read, even at more than 500 pages! I did have some minor problems with the book, the first that certain things weren't explained, and that chemistry wasn't really built up between the couples, at least secondary couples as I hoped, and towards the end I was disappointed that I didn't get to know London as well as I got to know Paris and New York.
This is for TLC Book Tour
Karen’s Tour Stops
Wednesday, October 29th: No More Grumpy Bookseller
Friday, October 31st: Seaside Book Nook
Monday, November 3rd: Words by Webb
Wednesday, November 5th: Becca Rowan
Tuesday, November 11th: Tina Says …
Thursday, November 13th: A Chick Who Reads
Monday, November 17th: A Bookish Way of Life
Wednesday, November 19th: My Bookshelf
Thursday, November 20th: Books in the Burbs
Thursday, November 20th: For the Love of Words
Friday, November 21st: Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Wednesday, November 26th: Spices Latte Reads
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)