After you've read The Ambassadors and Portrait of a Lady, I think this is the next James novel to read. (I remember liking Washington Square too, but it's been so long.) It becomes clear early on that things will not turn out for our American in Paris, but despite this shadow of inevitability, the book is deeply pleasurable. The mysterious, intractable differences between the French and the American minds, between the old ways and the new, are not to be overcome by love. For such a happy tale, go elsewhere. But James is completely delicious.