Review: Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes

Honeymoon in ParisFor fans of Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You, who can’t wait for her new novel The Girl You Left Behind – out in August – here is an irresistible ebook-only prequel novella, Honeymoon in Paris.
At the heart of Jojo Moyes’ heartbreaking new novel, The Girl You Left Behind, are two haunting love stories – that of Sophie and Edouard Lefevre in France during the First World War, and, nearly a century later, Liv Halston and her husband David.
Honeymoon in Paris takes place several years before the events to come in The Girl You Left Behind when both couples have just married. Sophie, a provincial girl, is swept up in the glamour of Belle poque Paris but discovers that loving a feted artist like Edouard brings undreamt of complications. Following in Sophie’s footsteps a hundred years later, Liv, after a whirlwind romance, finds her Parisian honeymoon is not quite the romantic getaway she had been hoping for…
This enthralling self-contained story will have you falling in love with Liv and Sophie, and with Paris then and now, and it is the perfect appetizer for the The Girl You Left Behind, a spellbinding story of love, devotion and passion in the hardest of times.” – Goodreads

Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes is an enchanting novella – available only as an ebook –  written as a prequel to Moyes’s upcoming book, The Girl You Left Behind. In Honeymoon in Paris, we are introduced to Sophie and Edouard Lefevre, who are living in Paris during the First World War as they enjoy the honeymoon days following their whirlwind courtship and marriage. Nearly one hundred years later, we meet Liv and David Halston, an English couple who are honeymooning in Paris after their own whirlwind courtship and marriage. Both couples are featured in The Girl You Left Behind, and here we are given the chance to take a peek into their lives together as they are just beginning and the challenges that each couple faces during their honeymoon period.

Edouard Lefevre is an artist who fell in love with and married Sophie after she modeled for him. Sophie was a provincial shop girl before marrying Edouard and moving to Paris, nothing like the women he knew before her, and his friends and former lovers are shocked at the hasty and unexpected union. Thanks to the vicious meddling of a former lover of Edouard’s, Sophie begins to fear that it is only a matter of time before he tires of her and returns to seeking pleasure from the women who model for his paintings. She becomes morose and bitter, and they have their first – and perhaps last – fight. After Sophie leaves the apartment, Eduoard begins to paint a portrait of her as he saw her hours before – insecure, unhappy, and accusing. Will Sophie return to make amends? Will their love story continue or is this the end?

Nearly a century later, Liv and David Halston have arrived in Paris for their own honeymoon after a brief courtship and unexpected union. Liv is ecstatic and looking forward to their time together in this beautiful city of love – until David announces that “something has come up” and he has to attend an unexpected business meeting. After an argument, Liv spends the day sad and alone, but then struggles to be understanding and allows David to make his amends that evening. Unfortunately, David has more news to share – he must attend another meeting the next day. In disbelief, Liv spends yet another day on her own. She finds herself in a museum, standing in front of a painting that she feels an odd connection to. In it, a beautiful woman stands, looking angry, accusing, and unhappy. Liv is instantly struck with the thought that she and David have made a monumental mistake by rushing into marriage so soon and resolves to confront him with this information. When he joins her later that day, she brings him to the painting and shares her fears. Oddly enough, David interprets the portrait in a completely different way – one that is amazingly different than most would expect. Is this the end of Liv and David’s brief marriiage? Or will they find a way to continue along the path of the love story they began just a few months before?

Honeymoon in Paris is a sweet story of the love and conflict that are universal to marriage despite the course of time. This was my first experience with Jojo Moyes’s writing, and I must say that I enjoyed it immensely. It is a captivating and charming introduction to the two couples who we will continue to acquaint ourselves with in The Girl You Left Behind. Moyes has said on her website that she “hopes if you read the short book first, the second book becomes more poignant’”. I certainly hope so, and I can also safely say that it has raised my interest in reading the second book even more.

Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes is currently available for purchase {in ebook format only}.

The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes will be available for purchase {in hardcover} as of August 20, 2013.

4 out of 5 stars

Source: Penguin/Viking {via NetGalley}

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