Tell Us Your Back Story with Charlotte Nash
All the way to Europe for love
I’m going to tell you a story about a friend of mine. A friend, you say? Yeah, a friend. This has nothing to do with me at all. Wink, wink.
So, this friend of mine liked this guy, really liked him. But there was a little problem – he was going away for the WHOLE SUMMER. And he wasn’t just going to Sydney, or Perth, or anything like that, he was going to Eastern Europe. SLOVAKIA. Who even knew where that was? And this was back before the euro. It may as well have been the other side of the world. Well, erm, I guess it kinda was.
You know what was worse? This friend of mine knew that this guy was meeting up with his ex after his Slovakian job was done. Just to say hi, apparently. But who knows what could have happened? What’s a girl to do but instantly find the motivation to get on a plane and do the backpacking thing. After all, she’d always wanted to go to Europe. Here was just a good reason to do so. Not that she would have admitted it.
Several weeks later, after first arriving in London, she rolled into Vienna on a train. She had one hour to make it across town (speaking no German) to catch another train to Bratislava. If she failed to make it, she would wait for ten more hours. TEN. In a strange train station with nothing but vending machines for sustenance. But by this stage, she’d already survived Paris in winter (that’s another story), been scammed by conductors on the overnight train, and run out of both Michael Crichton and Jilly Cooper novels to keep her sane. (This was back before e-readers.) She was hardened. She had savvy, and luck, and the kind directions of an English-speaking local. She made it.
Sixteen years later, they’re still together.
So, you see, it’s not so crazy that a girl might go all the way to Europe for a case of love. That was in my head often when I wrote The Paris Wedding. My heroine, Rachael, has barely been out of Parkes. She’s given ten years of her young life caring for her mother, which meant giving up Matthew, with whom she’d made all her dreams. Now, she’s invited to Matthew’s opulent wedding to someone else, and in Paris, no less. Why would she go?
Honestly, why wouldn’t she? Because a love big enough to remember after ten years is big enough to cross continents. The only thing is, of course, is this the right move to make? For a woman contemplating her whole life, it’s not easy to judge. One thing is for sure – Paris is transformative. And maybe there are other loves, just as big, to consider.
If that sounds like a story you’d like, you can find it in all the usual bookshops, plus online in your preferred print or e-format (personally, I’m into audiobooks right now, and other formats that carry well across customs). Find me on Facebook or Twitter to ask questions, or if you’re brave, share your story of love-driven adventure! Or, log on to Goodreads to share lists and reviews. Happy reading!
The Paris Wedding
Ten years ago, Rachael West chose not to move to Sydney with high-school sweetheart Matthew. Instead she stayed on the family wheat farm, caring for her seriously ill mother and letting go of her dreams. Now, Matthew is marrying someone else. And Rachael is invited to the wedding, a lavish affair in Paris, courtesy of the flamboyant family of Matthew’s fiancée – a once-in-a-lifetime celebration at someone else’s expense in Europe’s most romantic city.
She is utterly unprepared for what the week brings. Friendships will be upended, secrets will be revealed – and on the eve of the wedding, Rachael is faced with an impossible dilemma: should she give up on the promise of love, or destroy another woman’s life for a chance at happiness?