Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Review: "J'adore New York" by Isabelle Lafleche
What Catherine is not counting on is the fact that New York will be far more challenging that she initially anticipated. Catherine is under constant pressure to meet her billable hours quota, and her bosses aren't afraid to put more work on her desk. She thinks that she may be developing a friendship with someone in the office, but then she finds out that he is transferring to the Paris office. A client crosses a line with her and yet she is blamed for the fact that he can't keep her hands to himself. Catherine is just about ready to give up when she meets Jeffrey Richardson, a handsome and powerful client who is smitten with her. Suddenly her visions of what New York would be like are coming true: candlelit dinners and weekends away with a sexy man. But things seem a little too good to be true, and they are. Jeffrey makes a request of Catherine that complying with would go against every ethical fibre in her being, and she must decide how badly she wants to succeed in New York.
J'adore New York is the debut novel from Isabelle Lafleche, and I look forward to reading more from her. The story flowed, and she kept it interesting even when explaining technical laws. It probably helped that Lafleche was a lawyer in Quebec and she used her prior experience to explain the trickier terms to those of us knowing little about the law. Despite its length of 390 pages, there's lots going on and before I realized it, I was at the end.
I loved Catherine, the main character. She brings to New York her optimism and enthusiasm, and even when New York shows its true colours, Catherine tries to hold on these qualities in herself. She spends some time soul-searching, to discover what it is that she really stands for, and those parts of the book quickly became my favourites. The underlying message was that our future is not set in stone, but is rather a result of the choices that we make. Another stand-out character was the flamboyant and funny Rikash, Catherine's secretary in New York. Although he is a secondary character, he manages to keep things light, and I enjoyed the scenes he appeared in.
J'adore New York takes a serious topic, shady deals and corporate corruption, and manages to make it both fresh and fun. The result is the perfect beach read- light and easy to read, yet containing enough substance to make things interesting. It provides an insiders look into what really happens inside the walls of a prestigious law firm.
Thank-you to HarperCollins Canada for this review copy! You can browse inside J'adore New York here, or find out more about the author here.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Recommended to: Fans of women's fiction or stories set in New York
Challenges: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge 2010