The Paris Apartment, by Kelly Bowen, goes high on my reading recommendations. If you are keen on books set in France, this is a must read.
A fictional tale, it isn’t one for giving you insight into the culture of France. Rather it is set in France, and England. But the story, the writing style certainly pulls you in and give you a good flavour of life.
A Tale of Two Stories
A truly interesting concept that is set in current day, as well as the past. A tale of two stories. The current day opens the scene with a mystery. And we jump to the past to then watch the mystery unfold.
The main character is of today. She inherits an apartment in Paris, hence the title, from her French grandmother. The apartment, she discovers, has been shut up since 1945. It is like a time capsule. One that gives her some clues into her grandmother’s life.
Initially she and we see only the surface. But as she becomes interested in the story of the apartment, and her grandmother – a story she knew nothing about – she realises there is far more to her grandmother than anyone ever knew.
Juxtaposed alongside, we the reader switch to the viewpoint of the grandmother, during her earlier life. The lead up to World War II and the occupation of Paris. We are treated to a unique perspective, created by the writer.
The book wends its way between the two perspectives. One moving forward, the other backward in time. Neither knowing where they will lead. Until we come to the end of the story and the viewpoints meet.
How it Ends?
We are left guessing until the culmination how much of the mystery will be explained in the current day. The answer, without spoiling the ending, enough to satisfy.
A truly interesting perspective and jolly good read. And one I can happily recommend, especially for a book club.
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