A Paris Apartment: Book summary and reviews of A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable

A Paris Apartment

By Michelle Gable

A Paris Apartment
  • Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Apr 2014,
    304 pages.

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Book Summary

Where The Paris Wife meets Moulin Rouge, A Paris Apartment is a rich and colorful debut painted with heart and humor against the backdrop of Paris during its Gilded Age.

When April Vogt's boss tells her about the discoveries in a cramped, decrepit ninth arrondissement apartment, the Sotheby's continental furniture specialist does not hear the words "dust" or "rats" or "shuttered for seventy years." She hears Paris. She hears escape.

Once in France, April quickly learns the apartment is not merely some rich hoarder's repository. Beneath the dust and cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a goldmine and not because of the actual gold (or painted ostrich eggs or mounted rhinoceros horns or bronze bathtub). First, there's a portrait by one of the masters of the Belle Epoque. And then there are letters and journals written by the woman in the painting, documents showing she was more than a renowned courtesan with enviable decolletage. Suddenly it's no longer about the bureau plats and Louis style armchairs that will fetch millions at auction.

It's about a life. Two lives, actually.

With the help of a salty (and annoyingly sexy) Parisian solicitor and the courtesan's private documents, April tries to uncover the secrets buried in the apartment. As she digs into one woman's life, April can't help but take a deeper look into her own. When the two things she left bubbling back in the States begin to boil over, April starts to wonder whether she'll ever find - in the apartment, or in her life - just what she's looking for.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Vive le Paris apartment!" – Booklist

"A Paris Apartment winds between past and present, between two passionate women and their lives, loves and fortunes. Informed and assured, debut author Gable's prose is fresh and emotionally complex. Glimpses into Parisian life, the arts, and the high end antiquities trade are piquant accents to an exceptional mystery." - National bestselling author Sophie Littlefield

"The women's fiction world is lucky to welcome Michelle Gable to its ranks. In A Paris Apartment, Gable deftly weaves romance, mystery, past and present into a wonderful page-turner that will have readers clamoring for her next book." – Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times-bestselling author

The information about A Paris Apartment shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Michelle C. (Atlanta, GA)
Paris Chick Lit
I wanted to read this book, as I love Paris and all things French. I also thought the art/furniture appraiser/auction house piece would be interesting to read and learn about. I read the book and found it to be entertaining, although as a whole, it was a little light and frankly predictable to me. I knew the first time Luc was presented to us in the book that April would have an affair of some sort with him, and I doubt I was the only one. Also, I found the character Marthe to be a little over the top and therefore contrived. I enjoyed how the book took me to some of my favorite places in Paris. For a light summer read, it works, but I think comparisons with The Paris Wife are incorrect the two books are in different leagues.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Kay D. (Strongsville, OH)
Blending Real Life and Fiction
i was fascinated by the premise of this book - a Paris apartment found that had been abandoned over 40 years previously. I recalled a recent news story about the same and discovered that this book was, indeed, based on fact.

Michelle Gable does a wonderful job of taking those facts and weaving them into two fictional stories - one focusing on April Vogt and taking place in present day and the other spinning the tale of Marthe, the original owner of the apartment. She creatively moves back and forth between the stories and time periods while linking the two women in many ways.

This is an engaging read and keeps the reading turning the pages. The time spent in the past - the Belle Époque - was some of the most fascinating time spent. One can hear the sounds and smell the smells of the Paris of the time. Recommend this for a brief escape into two other fascinating lives.

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Wendy R. (Woodinville, WA)
A Paris Apartment
Michelle Gable's, A Paris Apartment, is an excellent read for anyone who loves art, history and romance. The novel takes you into the life of April Vogt, a furniture specialist. She is sent to Paris to appraise the furniture and belongings discovered in an apartment in Paris. The apartments contents are like discovering jewels of a treasure chest. The main character is very dynamic with many personal and professional issues that keeps the readers interested and waiting to see what happens next. A major find at the apartment are a collection of journal entries by the apartments last occupant that take the reader into the world of 19th century Paris. The novel explores the life of a French woman and her struggles to survive in Paris in a world controlled by men.
The novel is original and unlike anything I have previously read. I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who has an interest in historical fiction and art history.

Rated 5 of 5 of 5 by Sue Z. (Cornelius, NC)
The Paris Apartment
This book is the ideal book to read curled up before a fire in winter or lying in the sun at the beach in summer. Like Paris itself, it's funny and sad, demure and sexy and altogether delightful. The two main characters, one of which we meet through her diaries, written a hundred years before, and the other a modern woman, consumed by her career. Despite the many years between them, it becomes apparent that they are beset by the same romantic problems involving forgiveness and fidelity. How this is worked out during the appraisal of the apartment's contents forms.

One small annoyance is the use of the word "smirk" used too frequently through the book. Maybe the editor could fix this

Rated 4 of 5 of 5 by Mary H. (Phoenix, AZ)
Madame de Florian Collection
The characters are connected by interests, history, love and a certain amount of 'je ne sais quoi'. The author presents April Vogt or 'Avril' living in the present day but reading a diary from a prior century in hopes of adding some provenance to each piece from the Paris apartment that eventually will be auctioned. She eventually becomes more involved in the personal journals than in the actual furniture. The reader will be introduced to French culture, art, food, verse, landmarks and romance. The story is enjoyable, a good read that will hold your interest while allowing your imagination to travel.

Rated 3 of 5 of 5 by Rosemary C. (Austin, TX)
A Pleasant Read
The premise of the book is a good one, mirroring an actual situation where a Paris apartment had been sealed up for many years with valuable treasures inside, is a good one. This was an enjoyable read, although at times the writing seemed a bit amateurish, and I certainly enjoyed the latter part of the book more than the first part. The author does a good job with the journal entries in transporting the reader to another time period.

...15 more reader reviews

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More Information

Michelle Gable graduated from The College of William & Mary. When not dreaming up fiction on the sly, she currently resides in Cardiff by the Sea, California, with her husband, two daughters, and one lazy cat. This is her first novel. To learn more, visit www.michellegable.com

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