Willow Pears is an American teaching in Paris; she spends her spare time helping girls in a refugee center prepare for their immigration hearings. In the process, she finds herself falling in love with human rights attorney Macon Ventri ... but nothing about their story is romantic.
From the painful stories of young women fleeing rape, sex trafficking and more in their countries of origin (not much has changed since the late 1980s, when this book is set), to the challenges of the earliest days of the AIDS crisis, non-fiction author Susan Conley brings us right into a complicated world where there are no easy answers.
I particularly enjoyed Conley's use of Parisian geography; I know the neighborhoods of which she wrote, and I often felt like I was walking next to Macon and Willow, or Willow's brother Luke and his partner.
This is *not* an easy, fast romantic read. The issues contained in "Paris Was the Place" are complicated and poignant. I found myself drawn into the story in ways I did not anticipate, and recommend it highly.