When she was almost seventeen, Rosie Draper locked eyes with a charismatic student called Peter during their first week at art college, changing the course of her life forever. Now, on the cusp of sixty-five and recently widowed, Rosie is slowly coming to terms with a new future. And after a chance encounter with Peter, forty-seven years later, they both begin to wonder ‘what if’ . . .
Told with warmth, wit and humour, We’ll Always Have Paris is a charming, moving and uplifting novel about two people; the choices they make, the lives they lead and the love they share.
Recently widowed, sixty four year old Rosie Draper is still adjusting to life on her own. Rosie is determined to stay strong after the death of her husband, if not only for her two daughters and her grandchildren. She returns to work at the flower shop that her husband, Mike, helped her to buy and gets herself a dog after discovering just how lonely it feels to go home to an empty house at the end of the day.
However, a chance encounter with someone from her past makes Rosie stop and take stock of her life. Forty seven years ago, Rosie met and fell in love with Peter Morton when they were just teenagers. They shared a whirlwind romance and made big plans for the future they were going to spend together, which involved them living in Paris and Rosie following her dreams and becoming an artist.
Needless to say, something happened and their future proved to be apart; but is it too late to change what’s still to come?
As a huge fan of Sue Watson’s books I had ridiculously high expectations for We’ll Always Have Paris. Whilst Sue’s latest novel is certainly different to her previous releases, I loved it every bit as much. It pulled on my heartstrings and firmly refused to let go. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me smile and it made me think…
Rosie is a wonderful lead character. At sixty four she might be slightly older than your usual heroine, but I loved her all the more for it. She is a wonderful, strong, brave lady and I found her outlook on life to be totally inspirational. There is no question that she loved her husband Mike, but as the story unfolds you begin to wonder what the circumstances were behind their coupling. Did Rosie really love Mike to start off with? Then when Peter comes bursting back onto the scene I was more than curious to see how things went so wrong between Rosie and her handsome ‘Pierre’ (aka Peter). I wasn’t sure how I felt when Peter did make reappearance in Rosie’s life (and if even I wasn’t sure then just imagine how the poor woman felt herself.) She was understandably weary; Peter seemed to have hurt her and she wasn’t sure it was worth revisiting all the pain from the past once again. But as I said earlier, Rosie is one brave lady and I just knew that she would follow her heart and do what was right for her.
Rosie’s family are naturally curious and also a little unsure about Peter, but Rosie is one of those people who doesn’t want her daughters to spend their whole time looking after her. There’s definitely a bit of the old role-reversal going on at times throughout this story…!
I absolutely adored the characters that lead us through this delightful tale. Rosie’s friend Corinne was fantastic and I loved how she didn’t mince her words. I also loved the way in which Sue has included two characters in the story who are no longer around (those being Rosie’s husband, Mike, and also her somewhat legendary mother, Margaret.) It’s testament to Sue’s wonderful writing how she managed to make these characters so realistic, despite them not actively being in the story. The characters in this novel are easy to relate to and so also hugely intriguing to read about. The love that Rosie shares with her daughters and grandchildren bounces off the pages and it will really make you appreciate that special kind of love that only families share.
We’ll Always Have Paris really is romance with heart. At the same time it’s so much more than romance; it looks as second chances, friendships, following your heart and most importantly, believing in yourself. There were so many layers to this novel and needless to say Sue’s writing is superb. Her stories seem to just flow so easily and are just generally very ‘readable’, however I especially like the message behind this one. It’s beautifully told and the depth of emotion that Sue conveys through her writing is wonderful.
I also think this story will appeal to those of all ages- regardless of the fact that Rosie is in her sixties. Everyone can take away something good from this novel.
A gorgeous summer read…
A huge thank you to publishers, Sphere, for approving me on NetGalley to read We’ll Always Have Paris.
Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake tells the story of two sisters from very different worlds who come together when the unthinkable happens at Christmas, Summer Flings and Dancing Dreams is a story about an overweight supermarket cashier who dreams of dancing Flamenco with a hot Spanish lover. Bella’s Christmas Bake Off tells of two best friends, one big lie and the best Christmas Bake off EVER!
My new book, We’ll Always have Paris, is out this summer – and all about what happens when a woman meets her first love many years later. There are tears and laughter – but is there a happy ever after?