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Daisy Keen is a British fashion lover, who dreams of going to Paris. Isabelle Papillon is a young French student desperate to go to England to research Meredith Quince, an author Isabelle believes wrote a secret novel that wasn't made available to the public domain. After Isabelle places an ad in a newspaper, the girls' dreams come true and Daisy finds herself in Paris and Isabelle finds herself in London. As both girls come to terms with living in a strange country and learning a new culture, will they manage to suceed in their dreams? Will Isabelle find Meredith Quince's secret book and will Daisy manage to find love?
Finding Monsieur Right is Muriel Zagha's debut novel and came to my attention whilst I was browsing Amazon one day. I love books set in foreign countries and even more so books that have life-swap-type plots. I was looking forward to reading the book and finally managed to get my hands on a copy. I loved the cover when I first saw it and I was eager to start reading the book.
The Prologue of the book is very intriguing and it drew me in immediately. The Prologue is only three pages long but I adored it. I thought it was a fast-paced start to the book and I was intrigued to find out why Daisy was on top of a building and why Isabelle was rushing around Paris on a scooter. The book then takes a bit of a turn - the fast-paced and enjoyable start to the book doesn't continue but that's not to say I didn't enjoy the book; it was a bit of a let-down after such a frantic start but I did still enjoy reading the book.
The book is told in third-person from both Daisy and Isabelle's perspectives and each chapter alternates between Daisy and Isabelle without fail. It was an interesting way to read the book as the change in perspective between both girls was quite outstanding. Daisy and Isabelle are nothing alike; Daisy is fun-loving and adores fashion whereas Isabelle is studious and a bit uptight about things. It made their house-swap interesting as I could see Isabelle's shock when she first came upon Daisy's room. Their character dyamics were incredibly different but having two such contrasting personalities made the book all the better.
As far as the characters in the book go, I loved Isabelle. Yes she was uptight and studious but I really quite liked her. Each time Isabelle's chapter came to a close, I was desperate to read about her again. I thought Daisy was OK, I struggled to understand totally why she was so desperate to go to Paris as there didn't seem to be a sufficient explanation. I liked Daisy though, I thought her chapters were shorter than Isabelle's and so were easier to get through. I didn't like many of the supporting characters. The French contingent irritated me. I couldn't stand Isabelle's boyfriend Clothaire. He was a chauvinisitic pig and always patronised Isabelle. Isabelle's friends weren't much better bar Marie-Laure. I quite liked the London contingent, Jules and Chrissie, Daisy's best friends and Isabelle's temporary flat-mates. Chrissie was a bit over-the-top constantly stressing his words, which got on my nerves but apart from that I really liked him. I quite liked Tom Quince, Meredith Quince's newphew, he seemed really nice and so so different from the awful Clothaire.
The Quince mystery was an intriguing part of the book and is what kept the book flowing. I thought the conclusion to the mystery was OK but I thought it all ended rather abruplty. Isabelle's part of the story ends so quickly, it really surprised me. I would have liked an extra chapter to conclude Isabelle's story. It was concluded satisfactorily but she could still have had an extra chapter. Another problem I had with the book was how slow the whole book moved along. Nothing truly happens in the book and it is rather slow-paced. Saying that, though, I did find myself ploughing through the book quite quickly. The main thing that ruined the book for me was the writing. Muriel has lived in England for 20 years (as per the interview in the back of the book) so I wouldn't have expected her writing to be so stilted. Some of the time her sentences didn't make sense and they were written in such a way that it felt as if Muriel was writing it as if she'd only just learnt English rather than having spoken it for roughly 20 years. I can appreciate the fact English isn't her first language and I do think her editor could have picked up on those wrong-sounding sentences and corrected them. It would have let the book flow a bit better.
Finding Monsieur Right is an enjoyable enough read and I did enjoy reading the book, I just had a bit of a problem with the writing of the book. The back of the book describes it as charming and I certainly felt it was a charming read. I liked the feel of the fish-out-of-water tale and it was hugely appealing. The book is really enjoyable and I loved the descriptions of Paris. Finding Monsieur Right is well worth a read and for all I've said I did enjoy it.