Welcome to my weekly feature that focuses on audiobooks. It’s time to…
Audiobook Review: P.S. From Paris
Author: Marc Levy
Narrator: Tim Campbell; Translated by Sam Taylor
Audio Speed: 1.25x
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Brilliance Audio
Finding fame with his unintentionally written first novel, Paul escapes his life as an architect in San Fransisco, moving to Paris where he spends the next seven years writing in solitude. Worried about their friend and feeling that fate needs a little help, his best friends sign up Paul for an online match-making service. What begins as an awkward misunderstand blossoms into a true and meaningful friendship with Mia.
World-renowned actress Mia can’t pretend to be happy with her cheating husband any longer, running to stay with her best friend in Paris. There she struggles with her lingering love and hurt, trying to find meaning for her life, when she strikes up an unlikely friendship with an America author. Soon she and Paul work hard to convince themselves that their bond is nothing more than that between close friends.
I absolutely enjoyed listening to the audiobook production of P. S. From Paris. The book opens with two separate stories – the events surrounding Paul and the events surrounding Mia. We learn how lonely Paul is and how he tries to convince himself he’s okay. On the other hand, Mia knows how miserable she is but is frightened to take any risks. They live parallel lives until “fate” (in the form of Lauren and Arthur) push them together. I love how awkward and similar the two are. They seem like a great fit, but they work so hard to convince themselves they are just friends. Yet through this guise, the pair open up and learn to trust and eventually love.
What I love most about this story is the movie screen feel of the romance. It truly is a bit over-the-top and larger-than-life. I can see a young Audrey Hepburn playing Mia, so full of hope, not letting circumstances pull her down. She’s charming and silly all at once. Her behaviors mimic those of a pampered movie star, but she’s got a heart of gold. I love that both best friend Daisy and new friend Paul are able to see the internal spark under Mia’s shiny facade.
The overall plot is a bit extravagant, but that opens the story up to silly misunderstandings and outrageous mix ups. But these situations aren’t always light, and there is one huge twist that changes Paul’s life profoundly. Yet as implausible as some of the circumstances may seem, it all fits within the perimeter and tone of the book and Mr. Levy’s writing style.
The narration by Mr. Campbell makes the story. While I have to admit, at first I didn’t care for Mia’s voice, but as I got to know and understand the character, I realized how much his interpretation fits the actress. His performance captures both Mia and Paul’s loneliness, and as the story progresses, he emanates their excitement, heartbreak, and joy. Mr. Campbell has a good range of accents, which suits this multi-national cast of characters. He easily moves from scene to scene and “head to head” – the book has a few different POVs, with an almost omnipresent narration.
Reminiscent of romance from the Golden Age of Cinema, P. S. From Paris swept me away with the tale of Paul and Mia. Simultaneously grand and intimate, the story relays the larger-than-life romance between two lonely soles on a scale of little gestures and stolen moments. The story evolves slowly, yet I found I couldn’t tear myself away.
My Rating: A
Review copy provided by Brilliance Audio
About the Book:
On the big screen, Mia plays a woman in love. But in real life, she’s an actress in need of a break from her real-life philandering husband—the megastar who plays her romantic interest in the movies. So she heads across the English Channel to hide in Paris behind a new haircut, fake eyeglasses, and a waitressing job at her best friend’s restaurant.
Paul is an American author hoping to recapture the fame of his first novel. When his best friend surreptitiously sets him up with Mia through a dating website, Paul and Mia’s relationship status is “complicated.”
Even though everything about Paris seems to be nudging them together, the two lonely ex-pats resist, concocting increasingly far-fetched strategies to stay “just friends.” A feat easier said than done, as fate has other plans in store. Is true love waiting for them in a postscript?