The Paris Novel
By Ruth Reichl
2024 • Random House
Stella reached for an oyster, tipped her head and tossed it back. It was cool and slippery, the flavor so briny it was like diving into the ocean... Oysters, she thought, where have they been all my life?
When her estranged mother dies, Stella is left with an unusual inheritance: a one-way plane ticket and a note reading Go to Paris. But Stella is hardly cut out for adventure; a childhood trauma has kept her confined to the strict routines of her comfort zone. When her boss encourages her to take time off, Stella resigns herself to honoring her mother’s last wishes.
Alone in a foreign city, Stella falls into old habits, living cautiously and frugally. Then she stumbles across a vintage store where she tries on a fabulous Dior dress. The shopkeeper insists that this dress was meant for Stella and, for the first time in her life, Stella does something impulsive. She buys the dress and together they embark on an adventure.
Her first stop: iconic brasserie Les Deux Magots, where Stella tastes her first oysters, and then meets an octogenarian art collector who decides to take her under his wing. As Jules introduces her to a veritable who’s who of the 1980s Paris literary, art, and culinary worlds, Stella begins to understand what it might mean to live a larger life.
As weeks—and many decadent meals—go by, Stella ends up living as a “tumbleweed” at famed bookstore Shakespeare & Company, uncovers a hundred-year-old mystery in a Manet painting, and discovers a passion for food that may be connected to her past. A feast for the senses, this novel is a testament to living deliciously, taking chances, and finding your true home.
Tags: Books, France, french, non-cookbooks, Paris, Pre-Order, travel, women