What an amazing novel. I couldn't stop reading this, and when I wasn't reading I was thinking about it. The story takes place over one day in Paris, with some flashbacks to explain each of the four main characters' behavior and motivation. The chapters are short, the writing is exquisite, and the entire book is haunting and hypnotic. I was continually impressed at how the author wove actions and characters together so that these strangers nearly bump into each other, but only the reader realizes how they intersect.
The novel takes place in the postwar Paris of 1927, juxtaposing cameos of actual people including Hemingway, Josephine Baker, Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Beach (Shakespeare & Company Bookstore), and Marcel Proust with the memorable stories of the main protagonists. I was nearly overwhelmed at how the author cleverly constructed the plot to provide the breathless climax. I actually gasped as I turned the last page.