In Paris with You tells the story of Eugene who bumps into Tatiana on the Paris Metro ten years after they had parted. At that time Eugene, a wealthy bored student had decided to spend the summer with his friend Lensky, a poet and hopeless romantic in love with his neighbour Olga. Through them Eugene meets fourteen year old Tatiana (Olga’s sister) who is quiet and intelligent. They spend time together discussing literature, films, music and the world in general. And the more time they spend together the more Tatiana falls in love. When she eventually decides to write to Eugene expressing her feelings these are firstly ignored and then brushed aside. The summer ends in tragedy and Eugene and Tatiana part. Years later when they meet again Eugene is the one who is smitten , obsessively jealous of the other men in Tatiana’s life and determined to make her his. Though still attracted, Tatiana is on the brink of great success and change in her professional life. Will she pause to give their relationship the chance by spending a weekend in Paris with her first love?
This book is based on the celebrated verse novel by the 19th century Russian poet Alexander Pushkin also well known as an opera By Tchaikovsky. The English title is taken from the poem of the same name by James Fenton, the French title Songe a la Douceur a line from a poem by Baudelaire.
In Paris with You tells a story of young love, lust, regret and fate. It is told by a narrator who takes different perspectives allowing the reader to step inside the heads of its main characters and explore their confused thoughts and feelings, taking us back and forward in time to explore the events which shaped the individuals they have become. At times the narrator steps into the story directly to interrogate the main character about his role in a key event in the narrative.
Wonderfully readable and beautifully told in a lyrical yet contemporary style the translation has been praised not least by the author herself. A great read for teens and adults too.