One Summer in Paris with Sarah Morgan
It’s almost summer….and it’s time for One Summer in Paris with Sarah Morgan . She invited The BookTrail over to Paris for some croissants, book talk and of course French coffee!
So, who fancies a stroll around the streets of the city of lights, where there is definately summer time and that means romance and adventure!
What gave you the idea for this book and story?
It’s not always easy to pinpoint exactly where an idea comes from, but in this case I read about a woman whose husband had left her after 25 years of marriage, and she’d cancelled the special trip she’d arranged as a celebration. I immediately wondered how that story would have played out if she’d gone on the trip alone. I wanted that trip to be central to the growth of Grace, one of the main characters in this story, and I also wanted all her ideas about herself to be challenged in the process. I’m interested in inter-generational friendships, so I decided that my other main character would be an eighteen year old called Audrey. Grace and Audrey are both in Paris dealing with their life issues, and end up becoming friends. I’ve written many different relationships in my career (and yes, there is romance in this book!), but the friendship between Grace and Audrey is one of my favourites and was so much fun to write.
What kind of research did you do for the book?
This book has plenty of humour, but it also tackles serious themes of divorce and alcoholism. As I wrote the book I delved deeper into both topics and researched it from the point of view of the experts, and those who had been affected. No two people will react the same way of course, but reading extensively about the experience of others helped me develop what I hope are authentic characters.
Where did you visit to research the places in your novel?
I’m lucky that Paris is only a little over two hours from London by train, so it’s a simple trip for us that can be easily done in a weekend. Grace is on the trip of a lifetime so I knew she’d be visiting all the most famous sights of Paris, but I also wanted her to discover the charm of the less popular areas. The area around the Left Bank where much of the story takes place is a favourite of mine.
Why do you love Paris?
Apart from the quality of the cheese and the croissants? It’s a pretty city, light and airy with beautiful buildings, wide open boulevards and an energy that is infectious. It has some of the best art galleries in the world, and if you grow tired of looking at art and sculpture you can look at people. Paris offers some of the best people watching on the planet.
What French words do you know? French habits etc?
I spoke reasonable French at one time, but sadly lack of use has meant I have forgotten most of it. I am confident with directions and food (of course! Priorities!), but that’s it really.
So, what would YOU do for one summer in Paris?
I’d rent a small apartment at the top of one of the old buildings on the Left Bank, preferably with a balcony that gives me views across the rooftops of Paris. I’d stay within walking distance of The Louvre, The Musée d’Orsay and the Île de la Cité. I’d stroll along the river and through the Tuileries Gardens, enjoy a slow lunch in a pavement café and pick up a couple of books from one of the bookshops tucked away in the backstreets.
Which of your characters would you take with you?
Teenage Audrey would be fun company, and Grace would be a charming and restful companion, but I’d probably take her grandmother Mimi, and hope she’d tell me more about her secret years in Paris.
Where would you go?
I love the Jardin des Tuileries, which run along the side of the river in front of the Louvre. On a hot summer’s day it’s the perfect place to relax under the trees, making the most of dappled shade. Paris has no shortage of shops, but I’d probably make my way to a boulangerie to pick up a fresh baguette, and then perhaps head to a charming bookshop like Shakespeare and Co on the Left Bank, buy a book, eat and read on the banks of the Seine with a view of Notre Dame cathedral. If I need to escape from the summer sun I might go to Sainte-Chapelle to see the famous stained glass windows that date back to the thirteenth century.
And you have to have French food! What would you choose?
I would say any French meal, but my favourite is to do as Grace does in One Summer in Paris and load up a picnic basket with baguette, saucisson, delicious cheese and a good red wine and eat it while watching the world pass by.
Thank you so much Sarah for an amazing tour of Paris!
BookTrail Boarding Pass: One Summer in Paris