Paperback: 472 pagesGenre: Romantic Fiction
Publisher: Simon and Schuster 2014
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentences: She was a scrappy wisp of a girl who lived with forty-three other children in a large ugly house on the edge of a country town.
Review Quote: The Paris of both ages is beautifully drawn and the women's stories are skilfully interwoven, resulting in a richly emotional story, suspenseful and romantic, but unflinching in its portrayal of the dreadful reality and legacy of war. --Deirdre O'Brien, Sunday Mirror
My Opinion: This novel disappointed me.
I have a number of other titles on my bookshelves by this author but this is only the second one I have actually picked up and read. They obviously do not jump out at me when choosing something to read, this latest one was borrowed from the local library. Not even sure what attracted me to pick this one up, a very average read. I am struggling to pinpoint exactly why this novel disappointed me, as it is visually and historically readable, it was the storyline that felt flat, somewhat predictable, plus the title somehow does not work for me either!
The story of two women interwoven with Paris as the backdrop. Fay Knox was born in 1945 on the day war was declared and she has very little memory of her early childhood. As a young woman of twenty one in 1961 she visits Paris, on tour with the orchestra she plays in. This is just her second visit to the city, the last time being whilst she was still at school, strange feelings upset her on that first trip and this time events back home in the UK have sent her to Paris thinking she may have been there as a child. Does she discover the truth?
Interspersed with Fay's story is that of her mother Kitty Travers back in 1937 when she met and fell in love with an American doctor, whilst studying piano in Paris. Trapped their by the Nazi occupation of the city and the difficulties of survival in such a situation. Events of the time have traumatic repercussions not only for themselves but also the next generation.
Although I have admitted disappointment with this one, it will not stop me reading the other titles I have by this author as I feel this may have just been a blip.
In conclusion as her historical detail creates the atmosphere and makes up for the weakness in the characterisations, I would still recommend to her many fans and to those that enjoy novels set in WWII or Paris.
Rachel Hore was born in Epsom, Surrey. As an adult she worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, Norfolk.
The author of 7 novels, most recently A Week in Paris in 2014. Her previous novels areThe Dream House (2006), The Memory Garden (2007), The Glass Painter's Daughter (2009), which was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association Novel of the Year 2010, A Place of Secrets (2010), which was a Richard and Judy Bookclub pick, and A Gathering Storm (2011), which was a Sunday Times Top 5 bestseller and short listed for the RNA Historical Novel of the year, 2012 and The Silent Tide 2013.
She now teaches publishing and creative writing at the University of East Anglia.
In her own words.......
The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and her writing.
Goodreads - Author Profile Rachel Hore - Twitter Profile Author Official Website - Rachel Hore Facebook Page - Author - Rachel Hore