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Plum Blossoms in Paris
     

Plum Blossoms in Paris

4.7 4
by Sarah Hina
 

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Post-grad neuroscience student Daisy Lockhart has never been short on brains, but after her longtime boyfriend, Andy Templeton, dumps her through e-mail, she is short on dreams. Alone for the first time in six years, Daisy allows herself to finally be an individual instead of half of a couple.

Overview


Post-grad neuroscience student Daisy Lockhart has never been short on brains, but after her longtime boyfriend, Andy Templeton, dumps her through e-mail, she is short on dreams. Alone for the first time in six years, Daisy allows herself to finally be an individual instead of half of a couple.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In her debut novel, Hina tracks a poetic Parisian romance between an American tourist and a French writer. Daisy, a 23-year-old neuroscience grad, has dropped her lab-rat life in Ohio for an open-ended trip to Paris after getting dumped by her longtime boyfriend. Named by her father after Henry James's novella, Daisy is "trying to outrun a broken heart" in her search for "the iconic bohemian chase" experienced by great 20th-century writers and artists in Montmartre. On her train ride to the city from the airport, she has a chance encounter with Mathieu, a writer and tour guide. They meet again by happenstance at the Musée d'Orsay and fall into a whirlwind affair. The lovers set out on one of Mathieu's city-wide tours, playfully debating current events, art, literature, and their disparate cultures. Hina's unrelenting lyrical composition may turn some readers off, but the tone brings a fantastical quality to the dreamer's idyll of a romantic tryst with an artistic Frenchman in Paris. (Aug.)
From the Publisher

"Rich in fascinating details about the art and culture of Paris, Hina’s debut novel is a terrific literary love letter to the City of Light. . . . The writing itself is imbued with a stylish sense of wit."  —Booklist

"Metaphors, similes, and literary references abound in this ornately written novel of self-discovery."  —Library Journal

"This is an entertaining contemporary relationship drama in which Paris owns the story line."  —Harriet Klausner

Booklist

Rich in fascinating details about the art and culture of Paris, Hina's debut novel is a terrific literary love letter to the City of Light. . . . The writing itself is imbued with a stylish sense of wit.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781605421261
Publisher:
Medallion Media Group
Publication date:
06/15/2010
Pages:
350
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

Plum Blossoms in Paris


By Sarah Hina

Medallion Press, Inc.

Copyright © 2010 Sarah Hina
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-60542-126-1


Chapter One

When he told me he no longer loved me, I fell to my knees.

I know. Even I was conscious of caving to melodrama as I collapsed toward the peapuke, paisley carpet.

I offered my forehead like a fallen prayer to the floor, and when my new roommate, smiley Selena, came in, that's where she found me-nose to spit, prostrate with misery. She took the scene in, and since we never had much to say to one another (her bumper sticker cheeps, Abstinence Rocks!), she just as efficiently turned to leave. I never appreciated anyone's callousness so much in all my life.

Where was the mysterious lover, the dumper, in all of this? Five hundred miles away, numbing his nerves with alcohol-or so I want to believe. He could have been taking a nap, jacking off, or studying for a test. It was not within my power to know. I should have mentioned, from the start, that he was a slippery, sucker-punching coward. He broke up with me, in spite of a six-year relationship, by e-mail. A nice, clean channel of cyberspace, where messy conflict does not compute. He apologized for this, of course.

I know I should tell you this myself, but I'm afraid the sound of your voice might prevent me from speaking the absolute truth. I know you would only want me to be honest; I respect you too much for anything less.

I felt very respected by that chummy, conjugal semicolon. So respected, I nearly vomited on Selena's pile of Cosmos stacked neatly against the couch.

After a moment, or a lifetime, I looked up. My laptop blinked sanguinely at me from the coffee table. The mouse was grimed up with powdered cheese from the chips I still tasted. There were other artifacts of a familiar life-my favorite coffee mug (Naturally Selected to be Awesome!), a worn Neuroscience textbook, a framed picture of Irene and me swooning for Bono, and the latest untouched offering from my father-W. Somerset Maugham's A Razor's Edge. But I mostly just saw Andy's words. In brutal black and white.

I felt assaulted. But, if I'm honest, also the faintest exultation. My body, unaccustomed to anything but the paperwork of living, flickered to life. My stomach bubbled. Senses sharpened. I was conscious of the smallness of my hands braced, like bird's feet, across the carpet, as my lungs tugged for more oxygen. The room's molecules swirled in a chaotic dance while the faint scent of chemicals floated off my lab jacket and scratched at my nose.

None of it could save me. Destruction can be the spark for a rebirth by fire, but I knew that all my body's heightened defenses couldn't keep me from just feeling burned. Not reborn.

Yet something was different. Andy didn't love me anymore.

He was my high school sweetheart, even if the preciousness of that term seemed all wrong for us. We were brainy, self-absorbed, and, okay, innocent of the world's demands when we started dating at sixteen. He read all of my haikus in The Spartan Pen and never quite laughed. I went to all of his basketball games and never quite slept. We were nearly as ambitious for our relationship as we were for THE FUTURE. We both enrolled at Ohio State because he couldn't afford Princeton, and we shook our heads over lesser high school couples who splintered within one year of college. After he was bounced into Harvard Medical School from the waiting list, I settled for Case Western Reserve University's Neuroscience Program and shot him off to Cambridge with a smile and all the goodwill I could afford. I swallowed my pride, though it choked a little. We suffered through one year apart, and though we were too busy to spend any substantial part of the summer together, I was confident we were happy and satisfied. I felt settled. Thoughts of a ring had drifted through my head lately-a sweet tonic to the institutional boredom of lab work. But I didn't allow myself to linger over those daydreams. I wasn't going to be a girl about it.

Okay, I lingered on it long enough to decide on a PhD at Harvard after a summer wedding and a honeymoon in Europe.

Just. That. Long.

We were a match, a team, a mission. Andy and Daisy. Daisyandandy.

I don't know how to be alone, I confided to the carpet, where I saw myself scattering into a thousand paisley pieces. Like a tree robbed of all its leaves, I was all nerves and no color.

Outside, the October air whispered, then shouted. I shivered.

It was the season of my discontent.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Plum Blossoms in Paris by Sarah Hina Copyright © 2010 by Sarah Hina. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author


Sarah Hina is a former medical student. She lives in Athens, Ohio.

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Plum Blossoms in Paris 3.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
While I will agree with the editorial review stating that this novel is rich with details of France and the culture, I do not agree with the "WIT". For me, an interesting story got muddled throughout with too many attempts at humor, there were numerous times when you just wanted to skip ahead to the storyline and not waste your time on the attempts of being clever..... One review does state that this novel is attempting to "start the world apology tour"all over again, sadly I would have to agree, she did seem to have an axe to grind with George W Bush, Fox news, and Conservatives in general.... That being said, if you can get past that liberal progressive crap, you just might enjoy this book as the story line is sweet. MOM ALERT: no detailed sex scenes, which is refreshing, but occasional vulgarity which actually seemed really out of place within this novel.
semosier More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It encourages you to follow your bliss.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I still don't know about this book. It seems like the author was trying to write in an uncomfortable style. The language is stilted and stressed, as if there is an attempt to sound smarter and more clever. Remember in English class when you had to write in a particular style which was not your usual voice, and it just didn't sound authentic? Yeah, it's kinda like that. It interfered with the story and took a lot away from it for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
People have complained about the "uncomfortable" style of the book and how the style seems forced. However, it does not seemed forced at all to me. To me, it is beautiful and complex, and Daisy' s fresh humor, honesty, and admittidly melodramatic moments are what makes this book one of the best ones that i have read all year. Combined with the amusing , sterotypical views of what americans think the french think of americans, the novel comes to life and the reader feels the emotions of the characters. I was very emotional about the ending, and also very surprised.... ----- C.S.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Unless you like to read random babbling. I will be deleting immediately from my nook. You can flip 15 pages and not miss anything important.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So much about nothing. Goes on about art, writing, books and paris. The characters are lost. You read a lot of babble before the characters come back. You need to know a lot about the art. Books ect.. to be able to move around and enjoy this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having been to Paris and loved it I expected more of Paris and its environs as the reviews stated. Good story but I felt it kind of petered out in the end.
oklee More than 1 year ago
O'my, too many words, too much politics...an entertaining relationship drama over shadowed by too much rhetoric for this reader! Four stars because I loved Daisy, Mathieu and Paris!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Boring
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Let's start the world apology tour all over again. Do not waste your time.
stephenparrish More than 1 year ago
PLUM BLOSSOMS IN PARIS is an exquisitely written debut, told from the perspective of Daisy Lockhart, who treats herself to an open-ended vacation in Paris after her high school sweetheart dumps her. In Paris she meets Mathieu, a writer, "the distractible type, who neglects to eat because there are other, less ridiculous, matters at hand." Mathieu too is looking for balance, having just lost his mother, a woman whose past makes Daisy an ironic choice of lover. Yet lovers they become, and Daisy is treated to the feast that is Paris. The novel is rich in cultural references, especially literature and art. The city is viewed through eyes both reverent and critical, as Daisy allows her senses to be filled while at the same time checking her emotional responses against the American within her, an identity she holds close. Her relationship with Mathieu is a study in compatibility. The story gradually focuses on whether Daisy will choose to remain in Paris with him: the reader can't help making ever-refined predictions and vacillating on whether she should. The author does a splendid job of leaving the matter undecided until the end. The strength of this novel is the writing. The prose is stylish, sensitive, and refined, the result of a natural born poet tackling a larger canvas. PLUM BLOSSOMS demands a second reading merely for the beauty of its language. The promise of the author's next novel, and writing career, is high.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
Andy, her boyfriend in high school, college and graduate school, unceremoniously dumps Daisy Lockhart. Heartbroken as she never saw it coming and assumed as her only boyfriend she ever had, they would always be together. Daisy, unlike her Henry James' namesake, travels to Paris rather than Rome. There the American meets writer Mathieu, who grieves the recent death of his mother. Mathieu and Daisy become lovers. He shows her a side of the city that few Americans ever see especially the arts and the legends that make Paris what it is. As they remain together, Daisy knows she delays the inevitable of choosing between being an American in Paris or an American in America. This is an entertaining contemporary relationship drama in which Paris owns the story line. The city is seen mostly through the admiring, adoring and to a lesser degree disapproving eyes of the American in Paris. The lead couple is a wonderful cross Atlantic pairing, but more so the blossoming Daisy; as readers will wonder whether Daisy will follow the dreams of her heart or the American dreams she left back home. Harriet Klausner