Monday, February 17, 2014

Paris Was The Place by Susan Conley

I snatched Paris was the place off the library shelf because many other bloggers had sung its praises. I do enjoy books set in Paris but Paris was the Place didn’t work for me.

Willow moved to Paris after her brother relocated there. A friend of hers was able to secure a job at a detention center for young girls looking for asylum. Willow is excited to bring poetry to these girls and hopes to help them tell their stories. Willow wants to make a difference in these young girls’ lives. She also wants to help them stay in France.

My first problem with Paris Was The Place that I could not connect with Willow. It’s 1989 and Willow isn’t a cool name so she goes by Willie. It bothered me that she had this cool name and went by Willie. All I could think of was Willie Nelson. Secondly, Willow loves poetry. I don’t like poetry so the poems interspersed through the book did not add to my enjoyment. Conley’s writing was excellent so she did a great job of describing Paris. I really felt like I was there. But I couldn’t get interested in Willow and what was happening with her.

Conley also switched quickly between what was happening now in Paris and Willow’s childhood. Sometimes it was hard for me to tell where Willow was. And there was a lot of unresolved issues with her parents but not really explained or fleshed out enough for me. 

I did like the secondary characters. I loved Willow’s brother and his partner. I definitely enjoyed the scenes with them. I also liked Willow's friends, Sarah and Rajiv. I would have liked to hear more about their story. Also the girls in the detention center had interesting stories too. Honestly I would have liked this book more if it had been about anyone but Willow.

Sadly I can't recommend Paris Was The Place. If it's on your to be read list, I would say give it a shot. Many other people enjoyed it. Others who shared their thoughts on Paris Was The Place:  Chocolate & Croissants,  Walkie Talkie Book Club, and From L.A to LA.

1 comment:

  1. I feel a little disappointed that this one didn't work for you, since I want so badly for everyone to love it. Interestingly enough, one of my favorite aspects was her relationship with her parents. But I think a lot of that is because I could relate to Willie coping with the loss of her mother. Interesting how we could both form such opposite ideas on this one.


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