Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Paris Winter
by Imogen Robertson

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 368
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Maud Heighton came to Lafond's famous Academie to paint, and to flee the constraints of her small English town. It took all her courage to escape, but Paris eats money. While her fellow students enjoy the dazzling joys of the Belle epoque, Maud slips into poverty. Quietly starving, and dreading another cold Paris winter, Maud takes a job as companion to young, beautiful Sylvie Morel. But Sylvie has a secret: an addiction to opium. As Maud is drawn into the Morels' world of elegant luxury, their secrets become hers. Before the New Year arrives, a greater deception will plunge her into the darkness that waits beneath this glittering city of light. 


Kritters Thoughts:  Told over the course of one season, a winter in Paris, Maud is struggling to make ends meet while pursuing her love of painting.  Through a fantastic chance, she is paired with a "couple" who are in need of a companion and life looks like it may be on the up and up - so she thinks!  Divided into two parts, the first part centering around her time with this interesting couple and the second part is after a major event occurs.  

First, let me say that the first few times I picked up this book to read I only had a moment or two to read and once Part Two came around, I had some really good chunks of time and was able to really get in and read it.  On that note, the first part read a little slow to me and I flew through the second, there was also quite a bit more action in the second part which I loved.  Without the second part picking up, I am not sure I would have liked this book as much.

I absolutely loved the inclusion of the Paris floods and it was fun to have the action of the story intertwined with the historical event.  I love when fiction meets fact and can inform each other.  That is beauty of historical fiction, the reader is immersed in the truth, but isn't bored by the facts.  If you already have a love for Paris, I think this one is right up your alley, but beware of the slow pace of the first half.

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 St. Martin's Press.  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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