Reviewed by Bethany Kelly
Freedom. That is the main word that kept going through my mind when reading Moonlight over Paris by Jennifer Robson. This novel revolves around Helena, a woman who, after beating an illness that almost killed her, decides to leave England and travel to Paris to stay with her aunt while attending art school. However, at her parents’ request, she agrees to return home in a year.
Helena leaves England – and all of the bad memories – behind in search of freedom. The freedom from prying eyes and the rudeness of others over her broken engagement. The freedom to pursue her dream. And the freedom to enjoy her life without maids constantly around.
While in Paris, Helena makes a few close friends and is able to experience her life to the fullest. She also meets a man, Sam, whom she begins to have feelings for. However, what will happen at the end of Helena’s year in Paris? Will she return home? Or will she choose to stay in Paris permanently?
I absolutely loved this book. It was very nice to read about a strong female character who chooses to put chasing her dreams over everything else. Helena is a very well-developed character with many layers and facets. She is very true-to-life and has not only many strong personality traits, but a few flaws as well. I really liked the fact that although she was a likeable character, she did a few things that I didn’t like. Yes, I know this sounds strange, but I found it refreshing. Robson found a good balance between making Helena a likeable character, and making her a genuine and lifelike character.
The only negative thing that I will say about this book is that in the beginning, it was rushed. I felt that Robson rushed through the scenes in the first chapter or so to set up for the storyline in the middle of the novel. This is something that has always bugged me, but once I got through these parts, I forgot all about it because the book was just that good.
All in all, I would definitely recommend this book, and will probably also check out Jennifer Robson’s other novels.
Bethany Kelly is currently getting her MFA at Goddard College and has a BA in English. She is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home mother and wife who spends her spare time (when she has some) reading and cooking. Check out her website at www.bckwritingcorner.com.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by William Morrow Paperbacks. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.