I just finished reading Alexandra Potter’s ‘Love from Paris’. I can say, blindly, that I have always enjoyed reading Alexandra’s books, she has her way with words, and I was more than over-joyed she was doing a sequel to ‘The Love Detective’.
The novel starts with a very flat tone, not revealing the actual underlying story of the book, even the back doesn’t give too much away. And I have this really bad habit, like the novel’s protagonist, Ruby, of reading the last pages first, so I know what happened. See, the thing is, once I know what happened, my curiosity really spikes and then I want to know HOW it happened. It’s really how books and I work.
I will be honest, I read The Love Detective when it come out, sometime last year, and I didn’t remember much, except it was Ruby, her runaway sister, Indian Royal Yogi dude, train rides, Goa and Udaipur. And that’s not even 1/10th of the story. But, loving Alexandra’s style, I picked it up and in beginning I was just reading, trying to remember what happened.
The book didn’t really kick-start till she was in “the Apartment” of Emmanuelle in Paris. Well, until she discovered the hidden letters, and then I couldn’t put the book down. The letters as lovely as they were, will really touch a string to your heart. And with a mystery after another unfolding, it just made for a really heart-warming read. I had read the end, so I knew there was a kid. I thought it’d be Jean-Paul, but how can a kid born in 1940 be 19? Clearly, I didn’t do my math. But, there had to be a kid. (Spoiler- it was Jean-Paul’s grammy).
You’d think it’d be about Ruby and Jack, I thought it’d be Ruby and Jack, but Ruby was just a detective and brilliant one at that at discovering perhaps a beautiful love story of a precious French girl and her American boyfriend. Throughout the book I wondered, he was American, why didn’t Manu’s (Emmanuelle)’s father let her marry Henry. It was towards the end you find out why. Because he was African-American. Alexandra touched on a delicate issue of race and freedom in France with a lovely back-story. I was so excited to get to the end, but I wish it didn’t.
While I loved the book, I wished there had been a little more on Gigi and Grace, they were an important part in unfolding the secrets, but they were hardly elaborated on. I wish she’d done that. Apart from that, I can’t complain. I loved it.
The tag line did pull at my heart strings, because tell me –
How far would you go for love?