This was a total impulse selection off of NetGalley. I had no idea what to expect and no preconceptions of if I’d like it or not, For the record, I loved it!
A sparkling romantic comedy starring a bestselling author who goes to Paris to overcome writer’s block and rediscovers family, independence, and love along the way.
All Maggie Bliss needs to do is write. Forty-eight years old and newly single (again!), she ventures to Paris in a last-ditch effort to finish her manuscript. With a marvelous apartment at her fingertips and an elegant housekeeper to meet her every need, a finished book—and her dream of finally taking her career over the top—is surely within her grasp. After all, how could she find anything except inspiration in Paris, with its sophistication, food, and romance in the air?
But the clock is running out, and between her charming ex-husband arriving in France for vacation and a handsome Frenchman appearing one morning in her bathtub, Maggie’s previously undisturbed peace goes by the wayside. Charming and heartfelt, Dee Ernst’s Maggie Finds Her Muse is a delightful and feel-good novel about finding love, confidence, and inspiration in all the best places.
- Publisher : St. Martin’s Griffin (April 20, 2021)
- Publication date : April 20, 2021
- Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for my copy. Below is my unbiased opinion.
Let’s start with the setting. Paris. Now, my experience of Paris is that of a student on the expected shoe-string budget. My A-level French was woefully inadequate to navigate the busy Parisians; and unlike Maggie, I had no hope of blending in with the stylish ladies native to the city. Maggie’s version of Paris “with two gay men on an unlimited budget” seems like the stuff of dreams. It begins with a first class flight and a gorgeous apartment in the centre of the city with stunning views. They consume more delicious wine than seems possible and sample the most divine meals and desserts, many courtesy Solange, the older live-in housekeeper. The setting is a character and a key element of the story.
Another part of the book that immediately captured my interest is Maggie’s attempt to conquer her writer’s block. Oh boy… the superstitions, the hopes, the fears, the anxiety and the relief when finally she’s able to write… loved the descriptions! If you have no interest in a writer’s process or in how traditional publishing works, you may want to skip this one. There is a good bit of page space devoted to just that. I happened to really love it.
The love triangle that isn’t really a triangle. That might sound confusing but it’s not, really. Maggie finds herself rediscovering feelings for her ex-husband, with whom she’s always maintained a friendly relationship. Those feelings could lead to a reconciliation, especially with grown-up daughter, Nicole, advocating for it. However, there is a charming, sexy Frenchman who might just steal her heart and provide Maggie with her muse… In fact, what or who is her muse? Is it Alan, the ex, or Max, the new guy, or maybe it’s the city of Paris and the idea of love itself? What is it? And who will she ultimately choose? Well, you’ll have to read the book to find out.
One more thing I loved about Maggie Finds her Muse is Maggie’s age. She’s in her late forties and several of the other characters are older. I liked that this wasn’t a story about ‘young’ love. It’s about a mature woman, still open to finding a happily ever after, pursuing a relationship worthy of her.
Admittedly, this book isn’t perfect. I think there are some parts that perhaps could do with a little more development or follow through. Also, the pace slows a little while Maggie is in Paris trying to figure out what to do next. However, for me, those are minor issues. I was fully invested in the story from page two and I found myself immersed in Maggie’s world. I kept wanting to know how it would all turn out. Most importantly, I connected with the story, the characters and really enjoyed every moment I spent between the pages. I give Maggie Finds Her Muse 5/5 espresso shots. Now that’s a good way to round off my reviews for 2020! See you in the new year!