The Paris Novel

I want to start by saying this: no one writes about food like Ruth Reichl. The food descriptions alone and meals make this book worth reading. I also really loved the plot. It was engaging and absolutely delightful to read. But my biggest complaint is the writing. It felt a little bit like Reichl (whose non-fiction is incredible) dumbed things down a little bit to write fiction. I know that others agree with me per my DMs, but want to say that despite that criticism, it is still worth reading as the plot really is so good. It is 1983 and Stella St. Vincent’s estranged mother has passed away. She’s left her a small inheritance and a one-way ticket to Paris. Stella and her mother have never been close, and (thanks to horrible trauma that had happened to her as a girl) Stella lives a very small life of routine and comfort. She is not built for adventure and doesn’t want to go. But when her boss encourages her to take some time off, Stella heads to Paris! Adventure immediately ensues. A beautiful vintage dress at a consignment shop leads her to making a wonderful new friend, Jules. Jules is a dapper (very wealthy, very kind) older gentleman determined to teach Stella to live a larger life. Together, Jules and Stella explore the Paris literary, art, and culinary worlds. Stella lives as a tumbleweed at a famed bookstore… she solves an art world mystery, and discovers a passiod for food. Amongst other things, but I don’t want to give you any spoilers!