Katherine Mosby, Author . HarperCollins $24.95 (291p) ISBN 978-0-06-621271-5

Mosby (The Season of Lillian Dawes ; Private Altars ) has built a low-key literary career based on female characters who flout convention, and this potentially engrossing novel set in France on the brink of World War II cleaves to type. When the well-born American Lavinia Gibbs, in her late 30s, shocks her family by breaking off her engagement to a suitable—if dour—man in her own social set, a quick getaway feels necessary, and a transatlantic journey is soon in the offing. Armed with the delicious dual freedoms of solitude and her father's money, Lavinia is in search of adventure in the City of Lights. Despite Lavinia's optimal circumstances—she's a single, sexually adventurous woman with money in Paris—the author never quite manages to conjure up much joie de vivre. Though Mosby has a flair for descriptive passages ("He made even her name look beautiful, slanting in black strokes across the blue stationery, like startled birds filling a patch of sky"), her third novel is diminished by stilted dialogue and slow pacing; readers don't meet Lavinia's main romantic interest until well into the novel's second half. And while Lavinia's romance with the married Frenchman, Gaston Lesseur, is not without its tepid charms, few readers will be swept away by the couple's uninspiring affair. Agent, Kathy Robbins at Authors' Representatives. (June)

Reviewed on: 03/14/2005
Release date: 06/01/2005
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-158428-2
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 304 pages - 978-0-06-158427-5
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-185687-7
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-158424-4
Paperback - 291 pages - 978-0-06-093696-9
Hardcover - 351 pages - 978-1-59722-113-9
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