Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Perfume Collector
by Kathleen Tessaro

Publisher: Harper
Pages: 464
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  London, 1955: Grace Monroe is a fortunate young woman. Despite her sheltered upbringing in Oxford, her recent marriage has thrust her into the heart of London's most refined and ambitious social circles. However, playing the role of the sophisticated socialite her husband would like her to be doesn't come easily to her—and perhaps never will.

Then one evening a letter arrives from France that will change everything. Grace has received an inheritance. There's only one problem: she has never heard of her benefactor, the mysterious Eva d'Orsey.

So begins a journey that takes Grace to Paris in search of Eva. There, in a long-abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank, she discovers the seductive world of perfumers and their muses, and a surprising, complex love story. Told by invoking the three distinctive perfumes she inspired, Eva d'Orsey's story weaves through the decades, from 1920s New York to Monte Carlo, Paris, and London.

But these three perfumes hold secrets. And as Eva's past and Grace's future intersect, Grace realizes she must choose between the life she thinks sh
e should live and the person she is truly meant to be.

Kritters Thoughts:  Two characters with two stories and although you don't know their connection until the end, they are seamless.  Usually when there are two different stories going on I tend to favor one over the other, but in this book I loved both equally.  Grace is sent on an adventure as she inherits an apartment and shares from an unknown woman, as her marriage isn't on the ups she decides to go and check it out on her own.  Eva is the woman who leaves her everything and her story unfolds while Grace is learning it.

The things that made me sit and read this book in two sittings - settings (Paris, New York, London) all were described with just perfect words, characters - I loved the mystery of them and how they each had their own story, and finally the perfume - the words the author used to describe how perfume was created, bottled and so on was just fantastic.   

The one thing I thought was weird that the one storyline that took place in 1955, the characters seemed not to be current.  Their dependency on men and marriage just didn't seem accurate, but it didn't take away from the heart of the story.

If you are a fan of historical fiction, this one hits the mark.  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.



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