Thursday, May 20, 2021

Review: Lost in Paris by Elizabeth Thompson

by Elizabeth Thompson
Release Date: April 13, 2021
2021 Gallery Books
Kindle Edition; 352 Pages
ISBN: 978-1982149086
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary
Source: Review copy from publisher
3 / 5 Stars
Hannah Bond has always been a bookworm, which is why she fled Florida—and her unstable, alcoholic mother—for a quiet life leading Jane Austen-themed tours through the British countryside. But on New Year’s Eve, everything comes crashing down when she arrives back at her London flat to find her mother, Marla, waiting for her.

Marla’s brought two things with her: a black eye from her ex-boyfriend and an envelope she discovered while cleaning out the attic of Hannah’s childhood home. Its contents? The deed to an apartment in Paris, an old key, and newspaper clippings about the death of a famous writer named Andres Armand.
My Thoughts
Lost in Paris is a sweet book, and although there was a lot to enjoy about this book, I really wasn't as invested in the mother-daughter relationship as I thought I should be and found myself wishing the diary pages were actually the main story line.  However, I am always interested in a book about Paris, so while I wasn't as crazy about the main characters, I truly did enjoy the descriptions of Paris and wished myself back there once again.
I actually didn't have a problem with any of the characters, but wished more time had been spent on developing Marla's character as I found her a lot more interesting than Hannah.  She was quirky and fascinating, and she must have had quite an intriguing life. Hannah was simply...boring.  I get that she didn't like confrontations due to her past history with her mother, but that doesn't necessarily make a character bland.  
While this is not a dual timeline story, you do get glimpses of Ivy's story through her diary entries, a diary that Hannah finds in the old apartment.  Unfortunately, this is where the reader is somewhat misled as the description mentions Hannah and Marla following Ivy's footsteps to discover more about her and this never really happens.  I kept reading on, hoping for more information, and more searches, but while you do sort of discover what happens to Ivy, it's not because the two of them go hunting down the information. Like everything in this book, it all wraps up so nicely for them without either of them having to do anything.  
And this is why this story was 'sweet'. Everything worked out perfectly for Marla and Hannah. Everything.  And while it was enjoyable reading about some of the places in Paris, and I will never get too old to read about that, the story was fairly predictable and somewhat unbelievable.  However, the  the author does have this light, engaging writing style that is captivating, something I did appreciate. Unfortunately, even good writers can not always fix a choppy story line, or convince a reader that the relationships they create are good if they are rushed and unbelievable.    
Lost in Paris is one of those books I read in one sitting.  While I appreciated the setting, and enjoyed Ivy's diary entries, I wasn't invested in the mother-daughter relationship between Marla and Hannah because I just didn't believe in it the way I was meant to.  This story had huge amounts of potential, but it fell into the trap of using coincidence, tropes, and convenience to solve plot holes, some of which were too big to be believable. However, it was about Paris. And what's not to love about that?