Set against the backdrop of the Great Flood, The Paris Winter is a dark and powerful tale of deceit and revenge from a masterful storyteller.
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, she quickly realizes, is no place for a light purse. While her fellow students enjoy the dazzling decadence of the Belle Epoque, Maud slips into poverty. Quietly starving, and dreading another cold Paris winter, Maud is hired by Christian Morel as companion to his beautiful, young sister, Sylvie. But Sylvie, Maud discovers, is not quite the darling she seems. She has a secret addiction to opium and an ominous air of intrigue.
As Maud is drawn further into the Morels' world of elegant luxury, their secrets become hers. And before the New Year arrives, a greater deception will plunge her into the darkness that waits beneath this glittering city of light.
Hardcover & ebook: Nov 2014. Paperback: Jan 2016.
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You can see the full discussion here. This discussion will contain spoilers!
Some of the recent comments posted about The Paris Winter:
Did anyone else think the book had a slow start?
Yes, it was horribly slow. I almost gave up on it as I too have a "100-page rule". This one barely made it. But once it got started it never slowed down. So I thought was worth it. - bettyt
Do you feel women are facing the same problems as Maud, Tanya and Yvette today?
I don't think women are facing all of the same problems today that Maud, Tanya and Yvette faced in the book. While obviously things have improved for women in the last 100 years there are still issues women face in society and in the workplace that ... - jodig
Do you think Maud's work as an artist affects the way she sees the world?
For sure! I found myself wishing that there could have been paintings dispersed throughout the book instead of just descriptions - I think that would have added a lot to the overall story! And I would have loved to see illustrations and how they ... - amberb
Do you think Morel's and Sylvie's punishments fit their crimes?
Morel and Sylvie deserved to be caught. I didn't like that the Countess was going to wait until they got to America to ruin them. Morel killed two people, he deserved to be punished. I was surprised later when the murders haunted him. That made me ... - Navy Mom
Do you think the person Maud ultimately evolves into is a better person than she was? How so or how not?
She originally seemed a victim of circumstances and rather naive at that. I wasn't sure I liked the bitter, revengeful person she turned into. However, I can't blame her after the way she'd been taken advantage of. She seemed to find happiness and ... - Marcia S
"Starred Review. For readers of historical fiction looking for a complex story, this is a sure bet and most likely the next big hit of any book discussion group." - Library Journal
"Starred Review. With a twisty, well-crafted plot, this novel is rich in historical detail and robust with personality." - Kirkus
"Robertson fans will miss her customary strong lead and supporting characters with depth" - Publishers Weekly
"...Robertson's subtle and nuanced grasp of character, notably of the vulnerable Maud: a heroine almost worthy of Thomas Hardy...It is this characterisation as much as the narrative that lifts The Paris Winter into a category of its own." - Barry Forshaw, The Independent (UK)
"I must have breathed while reading The Paris Winter, but I could not say when. Robertson's dark tale in the City of Light will haunt the reader long after closing its pages." - Erika Robuck, bestselling author of Hemingway's Girl
"Rich as a ripened red wine, The Paris Winter intoxicates and satisfies the reader's darkest desires to be mysteriously entranced." - Sarah McCoy, author of the international bestseller The Baker's Daughter
"Imogen Robertson has written an enthralling novel. With its beguiling characters, deliciously twisted storyline, and setting in a city that is sometimes seductively glamorous, sometimes shivery with menace, The Paris Winter is an absolute treat for lovers of historical fiction." - Margaret Leroy, author of The Soldier's Wife
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Imogen Robertson directed for TV, film, and radio before becoming a full-time author. She also writes and reviews poetry. Imogen is the author of several novels, including the Crowther and Westerman series. She was shortlisted for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Award 2011 and for the CWA Dagger in the Library Award 2012. The Paris Winter was partially inspired by Imogen's paternal grandmother, a free-spirited traveler who set off through Europe with money sewn into her skirts.
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