Doubleday, Feb 2002, 24.95, 323 pp.
The four young ladies were best of friends while apprenticing at the Paris School of Decorative Arts. However, by the time they graduated, they detested each other. Each went her separate way and quickly succeeded in their chosen endeavor. In New York's theater district, Alexandra Gordon designs sets. In Scotland, Kay Lenox designs clothing. In California, Jessica Pierce conducts interior design. Finally in Italy, Maria Franconi works for her family clothing business.
Less than a decade has passed and now their mentor Anya Sedgewick is the guest of honor at her eighty-fifth birthday celebration in Paris. All four of her former students want to attend, but not see the other three except for some morbid curiosity about their former friends. However, each one would do anything to pay homage to Anya so the quartet converges on Paris for three weeks. Will Paris enable the women to regain paradise lost as the women, though a success, remain unhappy and feel they left something behind during their student days here?
THREE WEEKS IN PARIS is an engaging relationship drama due to Anya serving as a focal point for the other cast members. Anya is a great character who behaves like a Grand Dame teacher. However, in spite of diverse heritage and different current occupations and locations, the female foursome seems interchangeable as none of them stand out from the group. Barbara Taylor Bradford provides a heated tale, but requires one day of reading if the audience is to remember whose whom.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner