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It's Not Love, It's Just Paris

Tekijä: Patricia Engel

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
904296,420 (3.33)1
The author's first novel is a story about an American girl in Paris, who navigates the intoxicating and treacherous complexities of independence, friendship, and romance. Lita del Cielo, the daughter of two Colombian orphans who arrived in America with nothing and made a fortune with their Latin food empire, has been granted one year to pursue her studies in Paris before she must return to work in the family business. She moves into a gently crumbling Left Bank mansion known as "The House of Stars," where a spirited but bedridden Countess Seraphine rents out rooms to young women visiting Paris to work, study, and, unofficially, to find love. Cautious and guarded, Lita keeps a cool distance from the other girls, who seem at once boldly adult and impulsively naive, who both intimidate and fascinate her. Then Lita meets Cato, and the contours of her world shift. Charming, enigmatic, and weak with illness, Cato is the son of a notorious right-wing politician. As Cato and Lita retreat to their own world, they soon find it difficult to keep the outside world from closing in on theirs. Ultimately Lita must decide whether to stay in France with Cato or return home to fulfill her immigrant family's dreams for her future. This love story is also a portrait of a Paris caught between old world grandeur and the international greenblood elite, and an exploration of one woman's journey to distinguish honesty from artifice and lay claim to her own life.… (lisätietoja)
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näyttää 4/4
maybe maybe
  Litrvixen | Jun 23, 2022 |
I could not get past page 70 in this one -- the characters all have fabulous family backgrounds but no depth, the story appears non-existant, and while I thought I could relate to a young woman going to a foreign country living there on her own, none of what she was experiencing was even remotely anything I had ever seen or done. ( )
  WiebkeK | Jan 21, 2021 |
So disappointing. I am a big big fan of Engel's short story collection Vida and this novel was the polar opposite - cliched, overly sentimental and flabby. There are shades of Henry James American in Europe innocence vs experience but otherwise overladen in a plot that really goes nowhere. Also, a terrible title.
( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
"It's Not love! It's Just Paris" was an interesting read. It showed promise, but in the end wasn't able to deliver. This was a curious book. Something about the synopsis made me think that the book was set in the 1940's or '50's and it took me a couple of chapters to realize that it was set in the present day. There was something about this story - I can't quite put my finger on it - that made it seem more suitable to an earlier time.

Patricia Engel is, without question, a very talented writer. However, her writing alone wasn't enough to make the story work. The lead character, Lita, was very difficult to relate to. She was a strange combination of naivety and judgmentalness -and I honestly think her character would have worked better in an earlier era. The other residents of "The House of Stars" ( a "gently crumbling left bank mansion" that serves as a boarding house for young women) contrast sharply with Lita. They are worldly, self-assured, unafraid and unapologetic. Their very "Nowness" is discomforting to Lita and her relationships with the other girls in the boarding house are strained and superficial.

The transitions between events (and chapters) was absolutely jarring. The story often moved forward by a few days or even weeks without any explanation and more than once I found myself looking back to see if I'd accidentally skipped one or more pages. I'm not sure what this was about. It almost seemed like the author had written several short stories that she then decided to publish as a novel.

As in so many books, "It's Not Love, It's Just Paris" was damaged by the inclusion of way too many characters. Many of the characters seemed to have no real point and just served to make an already confusing story even more so. The ending of this book was also a disappointment. I don't want to give anything away, so there's not a lot I can say to explain my disappointment. Suffice it to say that Lita's choices just didn't add up for me.

In reading other reviews of this book, it's apparent that this story did speak to some readers. And, even though I was unhappy with the book overall, it's not one I will quickly forget. Although I didn't care for this particular book, I would be willing to read something else by Engel. She has written a collection of short stories titled "Vida" and I'm interested to see how these stories will compare to this longer work.

I received this book through GoodReads early reviewers program. This did not, in any way, affect my review. ( )
  Yogamom67 | Oct 6, 2013 |
näyttää 4/4
ei arvosteluja | lisää arvostelu
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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The author's first novel is a story about an American girl in Paris, who navigates the intoxicating and treacherous complexities of independence, friendship, and romance. Lita del Cielo, the daughter of two Colombian orphans who arrived in America with nothing and made a fortune with their Latin food empire, has been granted one year to pursue her studies in Paris before she must return to work in the family business. She moves into a gently crumbling Left Bank mansion known as "The House of Stars," where a spirited but bedridden Countess Seraphine rents out rooms to young women visiting Paris to work, study, and, unofficially, to find love. Cautious and guarded, Lita keeps a cool distance from the other girls, who seem at once boldly adult and impulsively naive, who both intimidate and fascinate her. Then Lita meets Cato, and the contours of her world shift. Charming, enigmatic, and weak with illness, Cato is the son of a notorious right-wing politician. As Cato and Lita retreat to their own world, they soon find it difficult to keep the outside world from closing in on theirs. Ultimately Lita must decide whether to stay in France with Cato or return home to fulfill her immigrant family's dreams for her future. This love story is also a portrait of a Paris caught between old world grandeur and the international greenblood elite, and an exploration of one woman's journey to distinguish honesty from artifice and lay claim to her own life.

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