Robyn Sisman’s Weekend in Paris is the story of young Englishwoman Molly Clearwater and her trials and tribulations working as an assistant to a (clichéd) chauvinistic asshole of a boss. In preparation for a weekend conference in Paris, the boss Malcolm makes it clear that not only does he have lewd expectations about his and Molly’s “business” trip, but also has no respect or appreciation for her intelligence and abilities. In a fit of pique, Molly quits her job but decides to take the weekend trip to Paris anyway. What follows is a series of uninteresting and predictable adventures.
I didn’t really dislike this book. I just didn’t really like it either. The main character was irritatingly naïve and blind to what most of us would consider obvious. You don’t find out her exact age until nearly the end of the novel; she is 21. Knowing that you can allow her a little breathing room to make stupid mistakes, but for my part I had trouble mustering much interest in or sympathy for her. The boss character Malcolm, from whose point of view several chapters are told, is almost comically badly written. It’s almost as if Sisman Googled “horrible boss” and wrote down all the traits she should include. Sexist? Check. Harrassing? Check. Grossly inflated sense of confidence? Check. The main love interest has a stupid name (my apologies to any French readers here, but Fabrice is not a name that conjures sexy feelings) and myriad clichéd “French” traits. Artist? Check. Smokes? Check. Drives a motorbike? Check. Incredibly full of himself and disdainful of others? Check. His lack of kindness is obvious to the reader from the get go; perhaps SIsman’s goal here wasn’t to write a romance but it’s chick lit. That’s what we’re here for. We don’t get it.
Stuff happens and it’s all too predictable to even discuss. I read this book because a friend lent it to me ages ago and I needed something mindless for the beach. I finished it, so there is that. It wasn’t horrible I guess, but I don’t really recommend it. There are far better girlie books out there. Check out those and give this one a pass.