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Paris, 1973: In the midst of a turbulent period of student unrest, political protest, and terrorist threats, Monica, a naïve and idealistic American college student, arrives in Paris eager to live out her rose-colored dreams. Along with her three friends, Monica soon discovers a Paris not pictured in guidebooks or dreamy black-and-white photographsa place both seductive and dangerous. The young women, who each dreamed of love at first sight, instead find themselves in a complex tangle of temptation, sex, love, and betrayal. In a city famed for its beauty, the friends soon lose sight of their moral compasses, and discover the seamy side of the Parisian adventure. Monica’s passionate involvement with two men puts her in grave danger. Velástegui spins a provocative and mesmerizing tale about the loss of innocence, the allure of desire, the power of both betrayal and redemption, and the danger in romanticizing the most loved and iconic of citiesParis.
|Edition description:||Spanish-language Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)|
About the Author
Cecilia Velástegui was born in Ecuador and raised in California and France. She received her graduate degree from the University of Southern California, speaks four languages, and has traveled to sixty-five countries. Cecilia received first place from the International Latino Book Awards for her novels Missing in Machu Picchu (2013) and Traces of Bliss (2012). The Association of American Publishers and the Las Comadres International Organization have selected her novels for the National Latino Book Awards. Her debut novel Gathering the Indigo Maidens (2011) was a finalist for the Mariposa Award. Her bilingual children's fable Olinguito Speaks Up-Olinguito alza la voz won first place in children’s picture books (2014). Cecilia has been an invited author at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, Literary Orange, the Big Orange Book Festival, the Los Angeles Zoo, the Smithsonian Institution, and LEA LA, among others. She lives with her family in Monarch Beach, California.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I try to read as many novels set in Paris since I love this city. I was enthralled by this novel because you can tell the author lived in France, speaks French, and understand the different levels of Parisian society. I loved the outrageous, yet pathetic, elderly rooming house caretaker and the formerly beautiful and rich, but now down and out, owner of the house where the American students live. They are a crisp, counter point to the naïve, American students. I have never read a book that combines French society in the 1970’s with the beginnings of the radical, foreign student movement of Paris at that time. This is an original and well-crafted novel and I highly recommend it.
Velastegui's novel follows the lives of four American women who are living and studying in Paris in 1973. They arrive in Paris with totally starry-eyed ideas about the fun they are going to have and the French men they are going to date. They soon get swept off their feet by four Latin American male students, who unbeknown to the Americans, are members of a radical, terrorist cell. I’ve read other novels by Velastegui, and I admire her talent for weaving history, contemporary issues, and romance in her well-researched novels.
The author deftly combines history, the human psyche, and the foolishness of falling in love at first sight. It takes place in Paris and in the beautiful castles of the Loire Valley. The author conveyed the attitudes of those times, the gullibility of the American students, and the frailties of trying to live an unattainable dream. I really admired the well-rounded, yet bitter, old women from who we learn how not to live a life.
I bought this book because, like the author, I lived in France in the 1970’s. From the very beginning of this novel, I thought the author described Paris at that time realistically, yet with a dark tone of events to come. I couldn’t put this novel down and read it over a weekend. It is both a love story and a social commentary of that era.