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Started out enthused to read a good story with the premise of beginning a new life in Paris. Expected new friendships to bloom. The book started out very well, interesting and descriptive but spiraled quickly into an abyss of "who cares". It started dragging on and on about blah blah. It didn't have any feeling of building on the story or going anywhere. I gave up about one third into the book. Sorry.
If you are expecting a lot of descriptions about Paris, this is not the book to read. The story focuses on a stay at home mother who is afraid to venture out into the city. I was looking for a book that was much more descriptive about the city and sights.
In need of money, the homeowner invites others into her home and the author tries to create a patchwork of characters but I found them all rather unlikeable and uninteresting.
If you are interested in Paris itself and reading about places you have been to or hope to go to, this is not the book.
A bit of disappointment since I usually love books set in Paris. The characters were all a bit sad and not much going on with the story and it lacked great writing to keep me entertained. When a book has great dialogue and characters that feel like you know them and this book did not have it.
I can't really pinpoint what I didn't like about Hidden In Paris. Because there's a lot of it. The books starts well enough, introducing us to Annie who lives in France and who's raising her three kids by herself after her husband died. Then we're introduced to Lola, who's unhappy with her life in California and her mentally mean husband. And finally we're introduced to Althea who's struggling with an eating disorder. Both Lola and Althea see Annie's ad and they decide a chance of scenery is exactly what they need and soon, Annie has a houseful of strangers. I liked that, I found it captivating and you'd think that will three women all with different problems then the novel would be fairly well-paced with each woman trying to fix their respective issues, but it's not. Not much really happens and that's where my issues with the book come in because I don't like books that ramble on for chapters with nothing much happening. I don't have the patient for books with no action. So I was at a loss and ended up skimming the last half of the book. (Again, not a good sign, but it got to the point where I just wanted it to end, sadly).
I figured the characters would be interesting, but again, not really. I found Annie to be very peculiar. Her personality (to me) seemed to jump around a lot. She was very self-righteous toward Lola who had just upped and left her husband, but when she found out the real reason Lola left she was both cheery (for being proven right) but also supported Lola to Lucas. It confused me, quite frankly. In one scene, she was glowing as Lola talked to her husband and then a moment later she was comforting Lola telling her she'd done the right thing. It didn't make sense. Lola was a much calmer character, though a bit of a doormat. I liked Lola, despite her doormat tendencies. At the beginning Althea was my favourite character, but I rapidly lost interest in her because nothing happened. It was glaringly obvious that she had a problem with food and I was astounded Annie and Lola, two perceptive enough people, failed to recognise it when it was staring them in the face, it didn't hold water with me, and I was disappointed at how clueless they were. Even a blind person could have picked up on it, frankly. There was so much that could have been done for Althea's story but instead she flounders, becoming enraptured by tortured painter Jared.
I found the writing to be a bit peculiar. I know it was set in France, and Corine Gantz herself is French, but I presume her book has been published by an American publisher so I can't understand why the book is riddled with so many errors and so many stupid-sounding sentences. I picked up numerous spelling errors and I was constantly re-arranging sentences to make them make sense to me. To correct them to the way they should have been written originally. (I'd love to give examples, but I truly can't be bothered to wade through and find some). I understand that sometimes authors do it to be authentic, but it's not really necessary. It drives my internal editor insane, it honestly does. Unfortunately Hidden In Paris wasn't a book I loved, and I was desperate for it to end, but not in a good way. It's a shame; I wanted to like it, I wanted to enjoy it, I wanted it to be a read I enjoyed, but it was just too slow for me and it's just one of those things. I liked the setting of Paris, I'm becoming more of a Paris fan with each novel I read it seems, but overall I wouldn't recommend the book, not unless you like novels that are slow-going. Not for me, sadly.
I bought this on my kindle due to the high recommendations on here because I was interested in a story set in Paris and there was supposedly a cooking theme. What I found was that the story could have been set anywhere. About 50% of the book was negative comments about the French people. I expected to be some sort of romance associated with the city and wanted to envision myself in Paris. Didn't happen. It was basically a book about a bunch of dysfunctional people living in a house. I thought the stories of the various characters were weird and depressing. The cooking "theme" wasn't really a theme at all, just a random act that had very little to do with anything. After getting thru yet another bad book, I can't help but wonder, where are all the GOOD authors?
The book was not particularly, enjoyable or insightful. I found all the characters unattractive. I just couldn't like any of them enough to really care about what happened to them. The main character being a self-righteous ignorant busy body gave the underlying plot little depth.