Expats Find Stubborn Love in P.S. from Paris

PS from Paris by Marc Levy

A British actress and an American author try their best not to fall for each other in Paris

P.S. from Paris is the latest novel by bestselling French author Marc Levy.

It’s basically like an Elizabeth-and-Darcy character dynamic in the ways that Mia and Paul insist that they’re not suitable for each other, yet they still seek each other’s company. There’s no Mrs. Bennett, but there are some fun, supportive friends for each protagonist who play their roles well.

P.S. from Paris was originally published in 2015 in French, but it appears that the English translation was released in 2017. The novel received positive praise from a variety of French media networks and blogs—Le Parisien, Le Figaro Littéraire, VSD magazine, and PtitBlog to name a few.

Fact: It turns out that Levy is “the most-read French author alive today.”

PS from Paris by Marc Levy

Even though it is not my favorite book, it’s not fair to easily dismiss P.S. from Paris. Why?

Not only is P.S. from Paris my first experience reading contemporary French fiction, it is a translation.

It goes without saying that the author’s writing style shines best in the language his text was originally written, but more importantly, I may not be able to fully appreciate contemporary French fiction because the conventions of American fiction may be fundamentally different.

As an American, it’s natural to have certain expectations for fiction written for Americans or English speakers. My ability to digest contemporary French fiction will take time—hopefully it will get easier and I’ll be able to read in French sooner rather than later.

Also, maybe as an American in a relationship with a Frenchman in Paris, I allow myself to have some license to roll my eyes at some references and settings that would win over non-Parisians or expats. (It makes sense to name-drop Les Deux Magots and/or Café de Flore in a Parisian novel about a writer, but it’s so predictable!)

On a selfish level, I’m a bit disappointed that the difficult, rather self-centered, female protagonist and I share the same first name, but that’s neither here nor there…

I’m undeterred from exploring more contemporary French fiction and reading some of Levy’s other titles, including If Only It Were True and All Those Things We Never Said. 

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A Francophile based in coastal New England

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