Heartbroken and alone, Boston art curator Sarah West is grieving the recent deaths of her parents and the end of her marriage. Ultrasensible by nature, she’s determined to stay the course to get her life back on track. But fate has something else in mind. While cleaning out her father’s closet, she finds a letter from the famous Parisian courtesan Marthe de Florian, dated 1895. The subject? Sarah’s great-great-aunt Louisa’s death. Legend has it Louisa committed suicide…but this letter implies there’s more to that story.
Determined to learn the truth, Sarah, against her nature, impulsively flies to Paris. There she’s drawn into the world of her flatmate, the brilliant artist Laurent Chartier. As she delves deep into the glittering Belle Époque to unravel the mystery, Sarah finds that her aunt’s story may offer her exactly what she needs to open up to love again.
Following Sarah in the present day and Louisa in the 1890s, this moving novel spans more than a century to tell the stories of two remarkable women.
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Ella Carey is a writer and Francophile who claims Paris as her second home. Her first book is Paris Time Capsule, and her work has been published in the Review of Australian Fiction. She lives in Australia with her two children and two Italian greyhounds.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I voluntarily reviewed this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.I enjoyed reading this beautiful story about Paris.I liked the storyline and characters,hope to one day go over there and tour the museums.
I had never heard of Marthe de Florian before reading A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable a couple of months ago so when I saw this novel was inspired by the very same French courtesan, I couldn't request a review copy fast enough. The novels have a few similarities (main characters dealing with failed marriages) but they veer in vastly different directions in the way they interpret de Florian's life. Sarah comes to Paris to learn more about her ancestor who died tragically after discovering a letter from de Florian to her great-aunt Louisa's husband in her deceased father's possessions. She wants to stay in de Florian's apartment in the hopes of turning up what really happened to her ancestor. The only catch is she has to share the apartment with an artist. Sarah's present day storyline alternates with that of Louisa. As the story progressed, I became more and more anxious to find out what exactly had happened to Louisa. Was it possible family lore had it wrong? Oh, how I hoped! There was such sadness in how the events of her life played out and how helpless she was in the eyes of society, despite her dreams. One of the more interesting aspect's of Louisa's story was her growing involvement with women's rights. Sarah and Louisa are both in need of a fresh start in their respective time periods and it was interesting to see what constrained them and what could potentially set them free. And call me cliche but beyond the mystery, one of the most interesting part's of Sarah's story was her relationship with Laurent, as she made peace with her past and became open to a new kind of future- and as he did the same. There were some beautiful lines about new possibilities and being free. The novel was strongest with Louisa's story and while Sarah's story was set in Paris but the author brought it all back around in the end. Disclosure: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
An intriguing story! We come across a bit of familiarity from her last novel THE HOUSE BY THE LAKE in this story as answers from the past are sought once again. Boston art curator Sarah West is newly divorced and trying to find her place in the world alone after also recently losing both parents. While sorting through her father's belongings, she stumbles across a letter that mentions the 1895 death of her great-great-aunt Louisa in Paris. Family legend had always stated that she committed suicide, but some things stated in this letter lead Sarah to wonder if that is actually the case. She sets out on the adventure of a lifetime to see if she can find out the true story. Sharing an apartment with artist Laurent Chartier in Paris, she visits various locations looking for info. Laurent encourages her not to give up when she hits road blocks, and she eventually finds a source that will be invaluable to finding the answer she seeks.