Samantha H. (Golden, CO)
Pulls you right in
The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson is an engaging, well written novel. It gives you a window into the art world as it existed for women painters during the age of Impressionism as you follow the lives of three unlikely friends. Well developed characters help pull you in to this fascinating story about struggle, friendship and revenge.
Dorothy G. (Naperville, IL)
Beautifully painted tale
The Paris Winter took me in instantly. The characters were described and painted with words in ways that made them come alive. The story is unpredictable and engrossing from start to finish. I think I enjoyed seeing the female friendships develop throughout the novel and was inspired by what women bear and what women achieve. The descriptions of Paris made me feel that I knew it well and allowed me to picture many of the scenes in my mind. I truly felt that the words painted those scenes and made the book come alive for me.
I would definitely recommend The Paris Winter and appreciated the chance to be one of the first to read it. Definitely one of my favorite books. Thank you.
Marie D. (Waretown, NJ)
The Paris Winter - a captivating tale of art, love, friendship, struggle and evil
Author, Imogen Robertson, skillfully tells the story of a young English woman who travels to Paris, with very little money, to study art in an era when women artists were often viewed as less than respectable! The difficulties encountered by the determined art student, Maud Heighton, are painted vividly in words, and, in an unique and effective way, the author opens chapters with descriptions of museum paintings which set up the scenes visually.
While Paris is renowned as the City of Lights -- and love -- The Paris Winter takes the reader to its underbelly, literally! The horrific Paris floodwaters of 1910 rise up from beneath the city in terrifying ways at a time when dangerous weather warnings for citizens were virtually
non-existent. Word of mouth and rumors prevailed, adding to the panic in the streets.
Mysteries are solved and the denouement of the murderous and wealthy "gentleman" (no spoiler here) and his evil cohort are skillfully told. A page turner for sure!
Jacquelyn H. (Blanco, TX)
HISTORICAL FICTION AT ITS BEST
THE PARIS WINTER by Imogen Robertson is a most interesting story with captivating characters and writing filled with vivid description. I felt I was on a trip to early 20th century Paris! The book opens November of 1909 in Pigalle, Paris with the suicide of art student Rose Champion. When the news arrived at the women's art studio, an excellent portrayal of reactions of the reactions of the students catches the reader's attention immediately.
The early chapters filled with thoughts of the students involved with Rose provided active description of character and brought immediate emersion into the story, life style, and action.
The reader should expect plot twists, mystery, and surprise along with well drawn characters involved in a great story of historical fiction.
Janet P. (Spokane, WA)
Art, sociology, history combine in a turn of the century mystery
This was one of those books I couldn't put down, except to hit my computer to help me discover what life was really like in Paris of 1909-1910. What I found in my research was that I was receiving a colorful, accurate description of Paris during that winter of those years from the author Imogen Robertson. The heroines (and I believe there are three, Maud, Tanya and Sylvie) are believable and extremely likable. Friendships form at a realistic pace. Relationships come and go as trust builds and then sometimes wanes through the characters believable experiences with one another and their environment. The real mystery doesn't begin until close to half-way through the book, but by that point the reader is engrossed in the life of the city, of the rich, of the poor and of the woman trying to make a mark, on their own, in the art community of 1909. The author uses descriptions of paintings (written in "museum sounding" terms and said to be from the de Civray Collection, Southwark Picture Gallery, London, 2010) as a transition from one chapter to the next. My assumed meaning of these paintings changes in a fascinating surprise when revealed. The collection is fictional (it sounded so real I was "forced" to leave my reading to check this out on Google also) but the paintings became very real in my mind. An attempted murder, these paintings existing in the future, a woman seeking revenge and a truly sociopathic couple create a second half of the book so gripping that I found myself carrying the book into the kitchen to read while I prepared dinner. I couldn't put it down! And the ending didn't disappoint. Every unbelievable strand became believable as characters' backgrounds and idiosyncrasies were revealed. There were a couple of times I might have moaned a little at the innocence of Maud, but in reality, she probably very accurately depicted a well bred young English woman of her period in history. Great job Ms. Robertson
Carole P. (Framingham, MA)
Paris Winter focuses on a group of women artists in 1909 Paris. It was a very difficult life chosen by women driven by their passion for art. Although several artists and models make up this tale, the heroine is Maud. A young , well-bred English girl who only wants to live in the world of art. The story begins telling us her journey into this life. However, what makes this book so good, is where she goes and what happens after she is studying in Paris. I do not do spoilers. Let's just say that she is involved in intrigue and terror before she realizes what is happening. Although the art is a main part of the tale, it is the mysterious goings-on that make this a suspenseful read. Before I knew it, I couldn't put this down. Nor did I want to.
This would be a great book group read.
Cheryl P. (Lebanon, PA)
The Paris Winter
This particular book had me riveted from chapter one. It was very difficult to put this book down after beginning the story. Anyone who has a passion for historical fiction would really enjoy this novel. The author did an incredible job of keeping the reader wanting more chapter by chapter. When starting the story, it took a whole other turn into suspense and intrigue that wasn't expected. I was expecting to learn more of Rose from chapter one, but the story moved on without her being a part of the suspense. I believe this book would be excellent for book club discussion. There are so many different areas of the story that could be discussed to get other's opinions on what they would of done in that particular circumstance. I loved the way the author brought the flood of 1910 into the story. It just added to the intrigue of what was going to happen. The way the author used the portrait descriptions as a lead in to the chapter kept your interest as to where the story was leading.