Book Review: It Started with Paris by Cathy Kelly

paris

Title: It Started with Paris

Author: Cathy Kelly

Published: 2014

Pages: 400

Genre: Fiction, ChickLit

Format: Giveaway from A Bookworm’s World

My rating:  3.5/5

Reading Challenge: A book set in a different country

Review:

“It all started with Paris. At the top of the Eiffel Tower, a young man proposes to his girlfriend, cheered on by delighted tourists. In that second, everything changes, not just for the happy couple, but for the family and friends awaiting their return in Bridgeport, Ireland…
Leila’s been nursing a badly broken heart since her love-rat husband just upped and left her one morning, but she’s determined to put on a brave face for the bride.
Vonnie, a widow and exceptional cake-maker, is just daring to let love back into her life, although someone seems determined to stop it.
And Grace, a divorced head teacher, finds the impending wedding of her son means that she’s spending more time with her ex-husband. After all those years apart, is it possible she’s made a mistake?”

Wanting a break from intense reads with comprehensive themes and dense thinking, I chose a lighthearted chicklit novel by Cathy Kelly. Reading the synopsis, I was ready to get swept off my feet and feel the love among the characters. Although, yes there were moments that soared my spirits high, I spent the first third of the novel figuring out all the characters and how they intertwine. We follow the stories of 3 women but also the lives of those they interact with, more so secondary characters. Don’t get me wrong, I believe changing perspectives adds that desire to figure out what comes next in that character’s lives and then you get swept into the other characters and I feel excited and encouraged to keep reading! However, I felt there were many breaks in stories that I was confusing the stories – even though they all come together in the end.

Thinking about each of the 3 women that the story focuses on, I could picture women I know that reminded me of Cathy Kelly’s characters. It allowed me to put a real face to each of the women, adding that element of connection and making it that much stronger. One of the stories I attached my own life to was that of Leila. I had a moment this weekend (and in the midst of the quarter life crisis) where I was wondering, what am I doing with my life? Leila was allowing a man who broker her heart and left her to control how she felt. Fortunately, she was able to confide in her family and best friend to see that she is enough and that there are other pieces that maker her whole. She is choosing to live her life the way she wants to and taking ownership of it. That reminds me of the tattoo I got over my shoulder blade of the British crown – symbolizing the ever popular “Keep Calm And…”. To me it means that I am in control of how I feel about something and shouldn’t rely on others to make me happy – it has to come from within. Not only does Leila’s story epitomize that, I believe the other main women have that same revelation in their own ways.

Even with the makings of a potential Hallmark/Lifetime film, there are moments of surprise in addition to feel good and hope. Sitting here now writing this blog post after reading it a couple weeks ago, I am reminded of how good I felt after I turned the last page. Maybe it has taken me this long to see that I am also enough and can get through tough obstacles – thanks, Rising Strong for making this connection for me haha.

Read It Started with Paris if you like the themes of:

  • Interconnected stories
  • Family
  • Love
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