Thursday, January 14, 2016

Julie's Review: I'll See You in Paris

Author: Michelle Gable
Series: None
Publication Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Pages: 352
Obtained: Amazon Vine
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: Thought I had it all figured out and then BAM!
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary:  I'll See You in Paris winds together the lives of three women born generations apart, but who face similar struggles of love and heartbreak. After losing her fiance in the Vietnam War, nineteen-year-old Laurel Haley takes a job in England, hoping the distance will mend her shattered heart. Laurel expects the pain might lessen but does not foresee the beguiling man she meets or that they'll go to Paris, where the city's magic will take over and alter everything Laurel believes about love. Thirty years later, Laurel's daughter Annie is newly engaged and an old question resurfaces: who is Annie's father and what happened to him? Laurel has always been vague about the details and Annie's told herself it doesn't matter. But with her impending marriage, Annie has to know everything. Why won't Laurel tell her the truth? The key to unlocking Laurel's secrets starts with a mysterious book about an infamous woman known as the Duchess of Marlborough. Annie's quest to understand the Duchess, and therefore her own history, takes her from a charming hamlet in the English countryside, to a decaying estate kept behind barbed wire, and ultimately to Paris where answers will be found at last.

Review: I'll See You in Paris is part mystery and part family drama. It all starts when Annie finds a book in her mom's study that her mom pretends to have no clue about the book she's talking about to Annie. Of course this piques Annie's curiosity, so she sneaks it into her bag for their mysterious trip to England.

I loved how Annie went into full on nosy kid mode when they reached Banbury. She didn't quite believe her mother's story and the book about the Duchess of Marlborough has wet her appetite for an adventure.  Luckily she's in the right place at the right time and meets an older gentleman that can fill her in on the backstory of the biography she's currently reading.

The story flashes back to 1972 when a young woman named Pru had no other options than to take a job in England for a woman she knew nothing about and upon her arrival being greeted by that woman who brandished a gun. Shortly after Pru arrives, Win enters the picture to try to write a biography on the Duchess who he believes is Gladys. It's not too hard to see that there are sparks between Pru and Win, even if they squabble all the time.

Gladys is a hoot. She's definitely eccentric and maybe even being a little off kilter but she's most definitely had an interesting life. It is evident that she wants to talk about her escapades but without revealing that she's the Duchess. As the book goes on, it's hard not to believe she's the Duchess. Win is good at asking questions that make her talk and reveal things that only the Duchess would know.

I enjoyed the time we spent with Pru, Gladys and Win but I also wanted the modern day resolution to what Annie finds out about her mom and her mom's past. Her mom's past is in some ways the only way that Annie can move on to her future. They really are linked together, more so that most parent/child history.

If you like the Historical/Contemporary Fiction flip-flop story telling, then you won't want to miss out on I'll See You in Paris.



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