The magical Parisian setting, so lyrically described by Ms. Bradford, is the perfect backdrop for this romantic read. Even as romance blossoms for the four talented artists, Anya looks back on her life, the tragedies and the triumphs.

Anya Sedgwick, of the Anya Sedgwick School of Decorative Arts in Paris, is having an 85th birthday party.

Four of her favorite students are among those invited to the party. Alexandra, an artist living in New York, is reluctant to return to Paris because of Tom, the man she never forgot. Kay, a clothing designer married to a Scottish lord, thinks of visiting an infertility specialist while in Paris. Jessica, an interior designer from California, is still devastated that Lucien, her Parisian love, vanished without a trace. And Maria, an Italian designer, wants to return to Paris after whipping herself into shape.

As the four women decide whether to return, they must also face their pasts and a disagreement that destroyed their friendship. The how and why of their altercation holds the reader's interest and the quest to find closure for their relationships highlights the differences between the four young women.

(Now available, 323 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick