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captivating historical fiction
Well researched, very well written page turner!
A Lackluster Winter in Paris
Received this book from BookBrowse, an online book club, to read and then discuss starting on Feb 18. I found the story interesting sometimes but at other times long and drawn out. The first part of the book, especially, was slow moving and I really didn't understand the ending at all.
Slow Start but Worth the Wait
While the situations of the three girls who form the central characters of the " good " people were fairly well defined, the girls themselves were not well developed. The second part of the book then took off and the plot was moving smoothly and much of the confusion of the first part was cleared up. Yet, eventually, the plot began to drag again and my interest waned. The " evil " plotting characters were even less defined, especially Sophie.
There was much background information missing--such as, how was it possible Tanya fell in love with and became engaged to the handsome American? We never saw very much of him. How did Sophie and Morel meet? Were Maud and Yvette romantically involved? And why did Robertson make the two American characters so brusque and somewhat less refined than the Russian, British and even the street urchin, Yvette?
All in all it was an okay read, but not a book I'd find myself recommending to friends or rereading. For that matter, it will probably not be one I'll even remember in the next few months
I thoroughly enjoyed this historical mystery. It is set in Paris in 1909/1910 among the artists. There is a mixture of the “poor starving artists” and the higher class clientele. Young, naïve Maud Heighton came to Paris’ Academie to study painting and to get away from her small town life. Maud soon falls into poverty. She comes upon a golden opportunity. Christian Morel hires her to teach his sister Sylvie English. She can board with them and earn a generous salary. However she soon learns that the Morels are not who they claim to be. Maud is soon drawn into the dark, dangerous underworld of Paris. Friendships are tested, lives are endangered.
An Enjoyable Read
I found the book to have a very slow start (hence the four stars, instead of five). I almost gave up on it but am very glad I did not. Once it got going (around page 142) it kept me engrossed. I love the characters – derelict Yvette, aristocratic Tanya, the Countess. It was a delightful blend of personalities. I could easily envision these very different personalities interacting. It is the perfect blend of female friendships, love, greed, and especially revenge.
I really liked this book! After a bit of a slow start, it kept me very engaged. I liked the plot line, setting of Paris, and thought the characters were well drawn and had depth. I enjoyed reading about this period in history and liked the depictions of women artists and the struggles they had. I would definitely recommend this book but probably only to people who enjoy reading about art and this period.
Plot twist in the middle!
A young English woman is in Paris to become an artist in 1909. Of course she is poor and struggling, because otherwise where would the story be? She becomes a paid companion to a young women in poor health. Then comes something I absolutely didn't see coming and the whole novel turns on its head. Very evocative of the Parisian Belle Epoque age and bound to appeal to historical fiction fans.
Didnt quite do it for me....
I found this book difficult to get into and even well into the book I found I really wasn't caring much about the main character, Maud. The story takes place in the art world of 1909 and the Paris life. I will admit the book did pick up after the first 50-75 pages...but unfortunately just not the kind of book I would recommend.
Mary B. (St Paul, MN)
The Paris Winter
I very much enjoyed the start of The Paris Winter. The story of Paris in the early 1900's and the art world was very descriptive. Strong characters, especially female, were introduced. Then I started to feel that the story was not going anywhere. I'm glad I continued with it because very soon the story line was able to draw me in again and I found it hard to put down.
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.