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
    Genre: Novels

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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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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

Susan B. New Holland, PA (art lover and teacher)

A Paris Apartment
Even if you've never been to Paris you will be instantly transported there while reading The Paris Apartment. You may even learn a bit of French as there are several French phrases sprinkled throughout the story-It can be fun trying to decipher them via context which is fairly easy to do.

You will meet a cast of interesting characters, both American and French, male and female. I felt the characters were very well-drawn by the author and blessed with clever dialogue as they interact with one another.

The two main female characters are born a century apart so that the personality of the one living in the 19th century is revealed through her detailed diary recounting her numerous trysts which might either scandalize you or delight you-probably both as the humor sometimes made me laugh out loud.

This reader enjoyed The Paris Apartment and highly recommends it as entertaining and also educational pertaining to art, antiques and the city of Paris itself.

Everett W. (Mount Pleasant, SC)

Impressive Debut
This is a very impressive debut novel. The writing is excellent and insightful. Although I suppose it will be classified as a "women's book," as a male reader I found it engaging. It primarily is both an imaginative romance and a paean to Paris both contemporarily and during the belle epoch, all from the viewpoint of two very different women. The author handles these alternative histories especially well and she appears very knowledgeable about the current art auction industry. I already have highly recommended A Paris Apartment to my wife and her book club, who I think will love this book.

Barbara K. (Brooklyn, NY)

A Mystery in Paris
I never thought that I would enjoy reading a novel about furniture but A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable has proven me wrong.It is also the story of two women. April Vogt is a New York furniture appraiser sent to Paris to evaluate the contents in an apartment once owned by Marthe de Florian who abandoned it and its possessions in 1940, never to return.
The mystery of who Marthe de Florian was and why this apartment has been vacant for 70 years kept me intrigued but the story unfolds as April begins to read Marthe's diaries.
This unusual tale was well written, kept me guessing and was infused with the atmosphere of Paris, both past and present. I recommend it.

Randi H. (Bronx, NY)

A Paris Apartment
Wow -- what I book! I literally could not put it down. Reading A Paris Apartment, I became immersed in the lives of two women in France - April Vogt in the present, and Marthe de Florian living in the Belle Epoque. April's job is to inventory the furnishings and assorted memorabilia found in Marthe's apartment, which had not been seen in 70 years. April finds Marthe's journals, and becomes rather obsessed with Marthe's life.
The setting is great for anyone who enjoys Paris, and the apartment at the center of the story was apparently real. The heart of the story revolves around the two women, both of whom are trying to find their way in the lives and their loves.
Highly recommended!

Joan W. (Orion, MI)

Paris!
I love these kinds of stories – two stories in one – one present day and the other past. April is a furniture expert who goes to Paris to review and set up an auction of very old furniture in an apartment closed up for 70 years. In the process she finds the diaries/journals of the previous owner. She knows these journals will help in the auction - in the present day her marriage is on a teeter totter, not sure whether it is up or down, possible divorce. It is a little intertwining but the story is a good one. She has some issues as well that she hadn't shared and has been held inside for too long. All in all, it makes me want to go to Paris and to find new love and friendships. Very good story. I would definitely recommend it. As I said earlier, this is my kind of story – and that is what it is, a good story without all the language and such that are in others.

...16 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Michelle Gable Author Biography

National bestselling author of A Paris Apartment, 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.

Link to Michelle Gable's Website

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