J’adore New York has constantly caught my eye at the bookstore, and when my friend finished it in a matter of days, I asked to borrow it. Figuring I’d enjoy it, I didn’t realize how quickly I’d actually get through it as well! This debut novel from Isabelle Laflèche, a fellow Canadian, is a fun and entertaining read.
The novel follows the story of Catherine, a Parisian lawyer transferred to her firm’s New York City office and her struggles to prove herself in a very different work culture. Immersed in an office with high-powered partners, backstabbing secretaries and sleazy clients, Catherine attempts to keep her head above water while juggling a social life, a love life and a killer sense of style. Not until her world starts spinning out of control does she question what she really wants.
The mark of a good storyteller is swaying the reader to feel how you want them to feel – annoying characters are really irritating, stressful situations make you want to tear your hair out – and Laflèche does just that. I almost had anxiety attacks just reading about her stressful office encounters! Rikash, her assistant, was a bit too over-the-top though… I cringed every time I read him call her “dah-ling”. I also felt that Catherine, being a Parisian new to the Big Apple, seemed quite fluent and savvy with the “Americanized” mannerisms and slang. Perhaps her 6 years at the firm in Paris allowed her to become fluent, not only in business-English but social banter as well. She’s a character you want to root for though. Throughout all the stress and frustrations she goes through, you’re right there with her, cheering her on, hoping she succeeds.
One other little personal pet peeve of mine is when I read grown men “tickling” someone, written to be endearing or romantic. I don’t know about you, but the image I have in my head is a handsome grown man being all goo-goo and tickling their love interest. It just seems unrealistic and not quite the manly sex-appeal that the moment may be calling for.
Finally, I’d like to leave off with a quote from the book that I connected with. I feel it’s a great mantra to live by: Your passion is waiting for your courage to catch up.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ (3.5/5 stars)