Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson

4 Star

Imogen Robertson's break-out novel—a deep, dark and opulent tale of Belle Époque Paris, and the secrets and dangers hidden beneath its luxurious facade. 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 Époque, 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.

Sabrina- Kate - 4 Star

I am not generally a fan of historical fiction but I truly enjoyed this  dark account of life in turn of the century Paris. The Paris Winter really opened my eyes as to what life was really like not all that long ago. Life was definitely much more difficult in many ways. Women were pretty much second class citizens and it really struck me how much women had to struggle to survive through any means necessary.

There were a lot of historical details , such as the 1910 flood, included in the account of these characters was pretty captivating and I felt like I learnt a lot about the city of lights and its history. This book was pretty fast-paced with a dark mysterious edge that kept me guessing as to what might happen next. I could just feel the dirty intensity of life in the city during this time period. The city was coming alive with lots of opportunity, hope and joie de vivre which the author was able to capture exquisitely through the lives of Maud and the others.

A lush account of the lives of artists and scoundrels, The Paris Winter was a great read which had me thinking about it long after I was done which is a first for me as far as historical fiction is concerned.

Thank you to St.Martin's Press for our review copy.  All opinions are our own.

Connect with Imogen Robertson:
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