Books that Transports you to New Places!
Paris For One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes
Jojo Moyes has tons of novels under her belt. She is however best known for her well written and controversial book Me Before You that had also gotten the movie treatment in 2016. Some of her other novels are getting the movie treatment as well. Though the book I’m talking about right now is called Paris for One and Other Stories. This book has 6 light hearted love stories that take place in Paris or England. My favorite is the first and obvious title in the book Paris for One. The main character of Nell isn’t the one to take risks and she isn’t an adventurer. Nell does plan a trip to Paris with her unreliable boyfriend named Pete. Of course not surprisingly Pete opts out of going to Paris and it seems her destiny is to spend time in Paris alone. An adventurous side of Nell does come out that she didn’t know she had. Nell is willing to start a romance with the handsome French writer Fabien and explores dress shops and buys an outfit to look more Parisian and goes on a cozy boat ride with Fabian while the night is young. Not only does it give you the travel bug, its got an almost fairytale-esque modern romantic story. If you’re a romantic as well as a traveler I recommend this.
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
This story takes place in England and Scotland. The main character Nina Redmond is the type of woman who knows how to match a book with a reader, this is something Nina and I have in common. Nina works at the library till it unfortunately closes down. Nina moves to a Scottish village, buys a van and turns it into a bookmobile traveling from town to town. There are two men that serve as love interests, a train conductor whose a poet that seems too good to be true, and the brooding cranky landlord. Go read this book to find out what happens next. You won’t regret it.
The Sweetness of Forgetting by Kristin Harmel
This book takes you from a bakery in Cape Cod in the New England Coast, to Paris France, to the Big Apple in New York and then returning to Cape Cod. To say Hope McKenna is used to bad news is an understatement. She’s been through divorce, taking care of her bratty twelve year old daughter, to trying to keep the family bakery on Cape Cod from closing to visiting her French grandmother, Maime who has Alzheimer’s. Could things absolutely get any worse? Maime sends Hope to Paris to find out if any of her family survived the Holocaust in World War II. At one point in the book Hope ends up in The Big Apple which everyone knows is New York to find out if grandmas long lost love is still alive after all these years. As well as Wanderlust it is an emotional read as well.
The Woman in the White Kimono by Ana Johns
This novel of romance, heartbreak and discovering family takes goes back and forth between the late 1950s to the present day. We also go back and forth between Japan and America. Ana Johns does a wonderful job of making her writing descriptive. The story is about Naoko Nakamura whose family is pressuring her to marry the son of her father’s business partner. We know she’s not in love with him but in love with an American Navy man. Naoko knows that marrying the American and having a child with him would bring shame to her family since this is during the time where mixing with another race was frowned upon. Tori the daughter of the man in the present day finds out she has a half-sister from the Japanese woman her father fell in love with. After her father’s death she must go to Japan and find out the truth. Read more to find out what happens. I will warn you this book is a tear jerker and there is dark subject matter such as how the mixed children of the Japanese and American’s were treated as well as forced under the table abortions and babies being murdered after they were born. The story is well researched and the writing is so descriptive that you feel as though you’re in Japan. The wedding scene between Naoko and Hajime (The American) was colorful full of magical lantern lights.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman is about Tom and Isabel Sherbourne. Tom was a World War I veteran that became the lighthouse keeper in Western Australia. After two miscarriages and a stillborn it would seem Isabel and Tom could not have children. Fate though brings two humans washed up aboard the beach. A dead man and a baby who miraculously survives. Against Tom’s better judgement he gives into his wife’s pleas to keep the baby. Three years later they realize their choice affected someone else. I love the setting and the descriptions. I hope M.L. Stedman writes more books taking place in Australia, one of the places I would love to see one day.