Country girl Denise Baudu arrives in Paris hoping for a position in her uncle's clothing shop. However, her uncle's shop, along with other small shops in the area, is doing poorly. This is due to the large store across the street - The Ladies' Paradise - which is swallowing up the small specialty stores by offering "one-stop shopping" at discounted prices. Nineteenth-century Paris is experiencing the dawn of the department store. Despite her loyalty to her uncle, Denise is drawn to the progressive Ladies' Paradise and it's owner, the driven but charismatic Monsieur Mouret. This book was the basis for the PBS Masterpiece Classic series, The Paradise.