Sunday, May 10, 2015

Dreaming of France -- The Paris Winter

Please join this weekly meme. Grab a copy of the photo above and link back to An Accidental Blog. Share with the rest of us your passion for France. Did you read a good book set in France? See a movie? Take a photo in France? Have an adventure? Eat a fabulous meal or even just a pastry? Or if you're in France now, go ahead and lord it over the rest of us. We can take it.

I'm almost finished with the historical novel The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson, and the book enthralled me from the beginning. As a matter of fact, I've had to tear myself away from it to pay some bills and write a blog post.
I picked up this book for obvious reasons, set in France, and I wasn't sure at first that I'd like it. The book jacket explains the main character Maud is a middle class English woman who goes to Paris to take art lessons. It hints at the intolerably cold and hungry conditions she faces. And I thought I really didn't want to read about a woman during the Belle Epoque who starved in her Paris apartment, but the book jacket was misleading.
The book takes the reader from Paris high society to the pickpockets of Montmartre.
In addition to the plot, which turns on high about midway through the book, the writing of Robertson is just beautiful. I feel like I'm in the streets of Paris in the 1900s.
The car argued its way through the traffic under the fifty-two Corinthian pillars and wide steps of the new Eglise de la Madeleine, then swung up Boulevard Malesherbes past the dome of Saint Augustin. All movement and variety. Street-hawkers and boulevardiers, women dragging carts of vegetables or herring. The charming busy face of Paris a thousand miles away from Maud's draughty room in one of the back alleys around Place des Vosges, in a house just clinging to respectability, with its paper-thin sheets and the miserable collection of failed businessmen and poor widows who gathered around the landlady's table in the evening and tried to pretend her thin soups and stews were enough to sustain them. 
 As I was reading the book, I got caught up in the language in so many places, but now that I look for them, I can't find them, of course. So you'll just have to take my word for it and try it yourself.

Thanks for playing along with Dreaming of France. Please leave a comment and visit each other's blogs too so you can get your fix of France dreams.


Sally Tharpe Rowles said...

This sounds like a good read, I may have to try it.

Esme said...

I will have to read this. Thank you.

Louise said...

I've not heard of this book, but can definitely see the appeal, it sounds lovely.

Sim Carter said...

I haven't heard of the book but it sounds wonderful.

Leovi said...

An interesting book, I really like the time is set, thanks!

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