Saturday, July 30, 2016
Review: The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown
When Madeleine's marriage hits a rough patch, she takes inspiration from her grandmother Margie's diary to spend a daring summer in Paris. Madeleine had always thought her grandmother was the model wife and mother – all elegance and reserve. But Margie's diary showed another side: a free spirit who bolted to Jazz Age Paris for the adventure and romance of living in café society.
Inspired by Margie, Madeleine flees her own broken marriage for a summer in Paris. Looking for healing, she reconnects with her grandmother and her own creative self. The book alternates between Madeleine's and Margie's stories. Madeleine's story is set in 1999, which makes it modern without the distraction of current events and technology, allowing Brown to focus on bigger, timeless themes.
The Light of Paris brims with the requirements of a satisfying story – conflict, family secrets, difficult family relationships, new loves, more conflict, romance, courage, self-discovery, and a gratifying ending. And, of course, Paris. Paris, Paris, Paris. Jazz Age Paris and Paris in the more recent past.
Eleanor Brown’s prose glows and sparkles like a glass of champagne and her book is a toast to independence, self-discovery, and the never-ending allure of Paris.
Eleanor Brown wrote the bestselling novel, The Weird Sisters. She drew on the true story of her own grandmother's romantic trip to Paris in the 1920s in writing The Light of Paris.
I just added The Light of Paris to my French Connections list.
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BookPage by Karen Ann Cullotta
Minneapolis Star Tribune by Laurie Hertzel