The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson
I love historical fiction and really looked forward to reading this book and was initially a bit disappointed that the initial chapters of The Paris Winter felt ponderous without much promise. However, I slogged on and ultimately found this delightfully crafted mystery set during La Belle Époque Paris a real page-turner.
While the character at the center of the story, Maud Heighton, a nearly starving artist from Darlington in England in Paris to study art, seems almost cardboard, the supporting cast is wonderful – a privileged Russian beauty, a model raised on the streets of Montmartre, a near-do-well con-man, an ethereal opium addict, a brass American born countess, and the city of Paris itself during the winter of 1909 – 1910 when the banks of the Seine flooded the city.
Ms. Robertson’s prose flows beautifully as if from an antique fountain pen on fine paper from Crane’s. She captures the feeling of early 20th Century Paris before the Great War & finely illustrates the dichotomy of the poor and struggling versus the flamboyance and extravagance of the rich. It is clear that Ms. Robertson thoroughly researched the time and place and I yearned for more. While part of the plot seemed a bit overly concocted, it was a good read. And really, what more can we desire?
After reading The Paris Winter I am eager to explore some of Ms. Robertson’s other writings.
In full disclosure, I had the opportunity to review this book through Bookbrowse.com.
It will be published in the USA in November 2014.
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