Actually, it wasn't as dramatic as all that. But every now and then exaggeration makes for a nice spice for normality.
|The Last Time I Saw Paris|
The characters were caricatures, the writing was simplistic and conversational to the point of being obviously and drastically different from the 1940s setting, much of the plot was improbable and dramatic, and the word "damn" was used more times than I think I've ever heard it in my life (cumulatively).
However. The pace was sprightly, the period interesting, the juicy bits weren't overly tawdry (though I could've done without the juicy bits altogether), plus there were flowers and fashion (it was Paris after all).
If you can value plot and pace above the characters and writing (a talent I don't really seem to have) then there's a good chance you'll find this to be an entertaining, vaguely historical, romp through Paris.
My main issue? The catastrophe upon which the story hinged came too late in the book. I wanted to know more about how everything pulled back together. Having so much time leading up to the main event only gave me more opportunity to pick apart the things that were bugging me. The characters were pretty stereotypical, everyone was way too good, the writing was much more about telling than showing, and the ending was much too tidy.
I must say, though, that Shors brings the island to life. Even though the characters weren't very layered, I did want to know what happened to them, and was concerned about the devastation. This would actually be a terrific beach read--easy to read and enjoy with only a small time commitment.
"Hanging from one wall were ropes, a fishing net, electrical cords, brooms, tools, and strands of holiday lights." [how 'bout this: let me just tell you about the hut instead of showing you!]
"Ryan walked past a jewelry store and into a shop the size of his bungalow. A middle-aged woman wearing a traditional head scarf greeted him. He'd seen a small mosque somewhere nearby and wished he knew more about Islam." [and then he continues shopping...]
[up next: The Night Circus]