My tired looking copy of Paradise. I can't remember when I bought it, but the book is yellowed and its spine is about to unbound. I have lost count as to how many times I've read it.
Well yes, I know I've said I'm giving myself a week break from reading. I got bored doing nothing. Paradise was the next book on my recycle-read pile before I got distracted by Twilight.
In this round, I read it twice (and I'm thinking of reading it again, actually). Just to show how much I love the story. If you're a fan of romance genre and you haven't read this book... WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?? You don't know what you're missing!
Meredith Bancroft, a sheltered daughter of a legendary department store chain owner, first met Matthew Farrell, a genius steel mill worker from Indiana, when she was 16 at a party. In defiance towards her father's unfair accusation, she had sex with Matt and found out she's pregnant 6 weeks later.
Matt was about to leave for South America for work. They got married and he left her with a promise to bring her to Venezuela once he has found a good place to live and sort out hospital amenities (she is pregnant y'all).
Her father, unfortunately, has other plans.
Meredith miscarried at 6 months and asked her father to sent a telegram to Matt asking him to come home. Unbeknown to the two of them her father did send the telegram, but instead telling Matt that she had an abortion and wants a divorce.
Matt flew home to convince Meredith not to leave him, only to be thwarted by a restraining order. Meredith on the other hand, thought Matt didn't care about her and their baby. And so, her father filed for divorce on her behalf and they both lead their own separate life.
Fast forward 11 years to the future, Meredith is now engaged to be married to her childhood crush only to discover her divorce to Matt was illegal. At the same time Matt, a now very successful corporate figure, came back to Chicago to work on his current acquisition.
She is now being forced to confront Matt about their non-divorce (heck, they're still married!). And then, they discovered the truth; what happened 11 years ago -- the deception, the hurt, the pain. This scene, when Meredith went to see Matt to tell him what actually happened to their baby, is so heartbreaking.
There were many a times when you wish you could give Philip Bancroft a bitch-slap on the head. As well as Meredith for that matter, because she tried to pass off everything that Philip did as love. Come on! In this present day, Meredith would have sued his pants off and severe all ties with him.
Anyway, the events that occurred from that point onwards, are just so sweet as well as poignant. Can you imagine being courted with sayings such as '... if you move in with me, I'll give you paradise on a gold platter. Anything you want -- everything you want. I come with it, of course. It's a package deal.'
Where can I find my own Matthew Farrell???
Go read it! This is one of the best work from Judith McNaught.
You may be interested to check out the review written by the girls at RipMyBodice.com on the same book :) They wrote it much better (and more entertaining) than me.