Friday, February 25, 2011

APOOO Bookclub Recommends Encounters in Paris!

In Encounters in Paris, Ellery Roulet, a 35-year-old American public relations executive, is living what appears to most people a successful and envied life. In addition to living in her dream city, Ellery is married to a handsome Frenchman, has two adorable daughters, and is one of the founders of a successful public relations firm. But, life always provides a couple of curve balls, some expected and some unexpected. In this well-crafted gem, Ellery will soon discover that life and love have both joy and sorrow. How she deals with the ups-and-downs is what life is really all about, and the joy of reading this book.

Ellery's life is revealed through connected episodes in this short-story collection. Some of my favorite episodes were the ones that deal with what-if scenarios, if you ever had a chance to re-do some past incidents in your life. In "A Brief Indiscretion," Ellery has a second chance to recapture love with an ex-boyfriend, and at the moment to make everything right, Ellery makes a decision that even she never imagined. In "Pandora's Box Revisited," Ellery and her husband will both discover what matters most to them, but one knows more than the other about what came in the mail that will change their future. I was simply engrossed in these stories, and in Ellery's world. I enjoyed that the stories were set in France and how the French culture was incorporated in the tales. The author was able to create situations which appear ordinary, but were more richly complex than what meets the eye. While the stories may use few words to describe the situations, the words are smoothly elegant and polished.

What I most enjoyed about this book, is while Ellery is African-American, she really is "Everywoman," as Ms. Moncel has written about universal experiences women encounter across cultures and time. It was refreshing to read a story that will appeal to all women, and one that features an African-American as the main character.

I recommend this book to all woman readers; this book shows how artful storytelling can be. The themes of job loss, infidelity, and death while bittersweet will speak to your heart. Grab your favorite beverage and be delighted by these profound stories. I look forward to reading future works by Carolyn Moncel.

This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Reviewed by Beverly
APOOO BookClub

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