This week’s review is The Paris Hours by Alex George. One of my favorite ways to rest is by curling up with a good book. Like movies and music, all genres appeal to me, and I give all books a chance to be ‘heard’!
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The Paris Hours by Alex George
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Historical fictional novels taking place in the 1920s are my favorite types of novels. Novels taking place during that time period in Paris or areas around Paris also pique my interest. I was thrilled to get the best of both in Alex George’s novel The Paris Hours.
The setting of the novel takes place over the course of a single day, pulling four individuals unknowingly toward one another to one place. Their stories are vastly different from one another and each comes from a different background carrying their own secrets and burdens. While they do not know each other at the start of the day, they are slowly drawn together through each of their current circumstances.
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Camille is the assistant and caretaker of Marcel Proust, a well-known writer. She tends to his every need and through mutual respect, they become close over time. So close they become that she reveals her darkest secret to the writer. When he asks her to burn all of the notebooks containing his work, she does save one. Now she is searching for this notebook her husband has sold. She hopes to find it before her secret can be discovered. If it is discovered, her life is ruined.
Guilliame is a struggling artist hung up on a past love and in debt to the wrong person. When he is unable to sell enough of his paintings to settle the debt, he searches the city for his lost love for a final goodbye before fleeing the city.
Jean-Paul is a journalist known for telling others’ stories of hardship, pain, and longing. While he is good at telling these stories, he fails to tell his own story of longing and loss. It is too painful to speak of his dead wife and missing child, so he focuses on others’ stories instead – until he meets the right person to convince him to share his story.
Souren is an Amerian refugee who has lost his entire family during the war. The loss of his family is too painful for him to face, so he seeks peace through his puppets. Each day in the park, Souren tells his stories through his puppets to the children in Armenian. Though the children are unable to understand his language, the show he performs with the puppets keeps the children entertained and returning day after day.
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At the end of the day, all four strangers’ paths interweave into the story’s climax of one unforgettable night in Paris. Will each person find what they are searching for? Will each finally finds the peace and solace they seek?
While I do love the setting and time period, the novel was a little confusing and tricky to follow. The chapters are short, which is great for an easy read; however, it’s too short for me to keep track of each person’s narrative. By the time I remember who I’m reading about, the story has moved on to the next character and story.
The climax at the end was underwhelming and didn’t do what I think was the author’s intention. It was intriguing to how the four strangers will cross paths, but the way it happened didn’t meet the story’s build. I was left wanting more from the characters’ stories and how they met at the end. The ending could have been more revealing and awestruck, I believe.
In any case, it was a good read and I would read other books by Alex George.
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The Paris Hours opening the box with Alex George
Book of the Month Club
I enjoyed books so much that I joined the Book of the Month Club to continue receiving the latest and greatest books via mail. Some of the books are exclusive to BOTM club members a month prior to their official publishing date! Each month I’m excited about the monthly selections, and it’s tough to select just one. (And when I can’t decide on one, I can add additional books for a small add-on charge and – as always – shipping is included in the monthly membership fee.) Can’t find one you want? That’s okay, too! Skip a month, pocket the credit to spend next month, and you won’t be charged for that current month.
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Book Ratings and Reviews
Each book I review is based on my opinion. This does not mean you will agree with the review or love/like/dislike the book, too. There’s a quote that says, “No two persons ever read the same book” by Edmund Wilson, and it’s quite true!
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