In the follow-up to her bestselling novels, Me before You and After You, author Jojo Moyes has published an eclectic collection of nine short stories each from a woman’s perspective and dealing with a variety of themes from troubled relationships to near magical shoes. The longest story in the set is “Paris for One” and centres on Nell who by her own admission is “not the adventurous type”, but has given up a planned trip to Brighton to have a romantic trip to Paris with her boyfriend, Peter. At the outset it is clear that Peter has no intention of joining her, and instead of following her routine inclinations and cancelling, she embarks for Paris on her own. The weekend does not start promisingly when Nell finds her hotel has double booked her and she spends the first night sharing with a stranger. Preserving she soon discovers the delights of the city and the company of an attractive Frenchman named Fabien.
My favourite tale is “Between the Tweets” and follows a formerly popular TV personality with a squeaky clean image and sinking ratings. Mr. Travis is being trolled on the internet by a woman who claims to have had a spicy relationship with him. The story is a delight about a PR nightmare with an unusual twist.
Each tale in this collection is intriguingly written, and the characters are well drawn (if not necessary all entirely likeable) using dialogue for the most part mixed with subtle narration . Moyes experience as a journalist as well as a fiction writer is evident in the succinct use of description that give the barest of details and leaves much to the reader’s imagination.
This would be a great and quick read for Moyes fans and anyone would relishes the joys of an interesting short story.