How might a "Freedom Fries" American cope in Paris during this thorny, Iraq War era?
By falling in love with a Frenchman, of course.
Daisy Lockhart free-falls off the razor's edge she's been negotiating as a perfectionist grad student, and makes a soft landing in the gilded arms of Paris. There, in October of 2004, she finds her freedom, and love.
Mathieu is a Sartre-worshipping writer who has a chip on his shoulder roughly the size and shape of America. Over an intoxicating day, he and Daisy clash over art, religion, George W. Bush, food, the metaphysical possibilities of a good shoe, and the murky memories tunneling up from their pasts. They make love under Matisse's PLUM BLOSSOMS, in Mathieu's father's apartment, which is stuffed with paintings from his Vichy past. Like Paris itself then, the relationship is a heady mix of the sublime and secret.
Over the next two weeks, Daisy takes a leap of faith and throws herself at Mathieu's mercies. She comes to understand--with the help of a modern French "salon," an Al Gore look-alike, and a very real Osama bin Laden--the bittersweet lament of generations of Americans living in Paris: she, too, will never be quite Parisian.
You've made Osama bin Laden a character in a romance novel?
Good luck with that choice.
(that would make it an auto-reject for me. I'm not quite ready to see that)
There's nothing compelling here; no real problem or conflict. So what if she's never going to be Parisian? We'll always have Fargo.