Review of “Paris For One and Other Stories” by Jojo Moyes

Usually I eschew short stories, because I don’t like the fact that the stories end just when I’m getting to figure out who the characters are. But Moyes has a knack for making her characters come to life instantly, whether in story form or novel. Her dialogue rings so true, and the emotions of her characters are so clear, that I always feel like I “know” them right away.

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“Paris for One” is the longest story, and it is also my favorite. Nell Simmons is set for a disastrous weekend in Paris that turns out to be the romantic getaway of a lifetime. The endings of all of the stories, though, except perhaps “Between the Tweets,” are wonderful. “Between the Tweets,” while not necessarily a “happy” ending, is a delight for the reader in any event. And most stories seemed like they could be developed at a later time into full length books, such as “The Christmas List.” This was not because they didn’t “end,” but because the characters and plots were so appealing, one wanted to hear more about them.

In an interview with The Irish Times, Jojo Moyes said:

“The more books I write, the more I realise that those that work do so because something in the characters is compelling or universal, and that’s what people tend to remember long after they’ve finished the book. Plot is really important (one of my big complaints about a lot of ‘literary’ novels is that often the plot tails away) but for me, it’s not more important than character. However, it’s vital to have a few twists – there’s nothing worse than a plot that meanders from A to B or which is entirely predictable.”

This small collection shows how much she has mastered those qualities.

Evaluation: This collection of stories is quite entertaining, and just the thing for those who only have short windows of time in which to read.

Rating: 4/5

Published by Penguin, 2015

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5 Responses to Review of “Paris For One and Other Stories” by Jojo Moyes

  1. I totally agree. I’m not a big short story aficionado either. But I will read anything by Moyes after absolutely loving Me Before You and liking After You almost as much. But the big thing about Paris for One is that the 1st story stood by itself. I loved it. Because of that one, I gave the book a 3.5/4.

  2. Kailana says:

    I really need to try Moyes again. I really liked The Girl You Left Behind, but tried her again earlier this year and ended up not finishing. It could have been my mood at the time and not the book, though. I am not a big short story reader so I probably should get going with her novels before I do her shorter stuff!

  3. BermudaOnion says:

    I’ve heard other people basically say the same thing.

  4. Oh, I’m going to have to check this one out. I’m not a short story fan either, but I do enjoy Jojo Moyes.

  5. Ginger Mom says:

    I haven’t read anything by her but this sounds like a great way to check out her writing 🙂 I liked your review.

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