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Ruth Reichl, author of The Paris Novel

When her estranged mother dies, Stella is left with an unusual inheritance: a one-way plane ticket and a note reading “Go to Paris.” When her boss encourages her to take time off, Stella resigns herself to honoring her mother’s last wishes. Alone in a foreign city, Stella falls into old habits, living cautiously and frugally. Then she stumbles across a vintage store, where she tries on a fabulous Dior dress. The shopkeeper insists that this dress was meant for Stella, and for the first time in her life Stella does something impulsive. She buys the dress --- and embarks on an adventure. As weeks --- and many decadent meals --- go by, Stella ends up living as a “tumbleweed” at the famed bookstore Shakespeare & Company, uncovers a hundred-year-old mystery in a Manet painting, and discovers a passion for food that may be connected to her past.