Monday, July 25, 2016

The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown

 Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: July 12th 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
The miraculous new novel from New York Times–bestselling author Eleanor Brown, whose debut, The Weird Sisters, was a sensation beloved by critics and readers alike.
Madeleine is trapped—by her family's expectations, by her controlling husband, and by her own fears—in an unhappy marriage and a life she never wanted. From the outside, it looks like she has everything, but on the inside, she fears she has nothing that matters.

In Madeleine’s memories, her grandmother Margie is the kind of woman she should have been—elegant, reserved, perfect. But when Madeleine finds a diary detailing Margie’s bold, romantic trip to Jazz Age Paris, she meets the grandmother she never knew: a dreamer who defied her strict, staid family and spent an exhilarating summer writing in cafés, living on her own, and falling for a charismatic artist.

Despite her unhappiness, when Madeleine’s marriage is threatened, she panics, escaping to her hometown and staying with her critical, disapproving mother. In that unlikely place, shaken by the revelation of a long-hidden family secret and inspired by her grandmother’s bravery, Madeleine creates her own Parisian summer—reconnecting to her love of painting, cultivating a vibrant circle of creative friends, and finding a kindred spirit in a down-to-earth chef who reminds her to feed both her body and her heart.

Margie and Madeleine’s stories intertwine to explore the joys and risks of living life on our own terms, of defying the rules that hold us back from our dreams, and of becoming the people we are meant to be.

My Thoughts…

What can be more empowering to a woman than doing what they want when the world is against them?     Both Madeleine and Margie didn’t belong in the life they were born into.   They wanted more. 
Madeleine visits Paris as a chaperone and soon her cousin leaves her behind doing her own thing.   The people she meets, the places she visits, and the experiences she have forever change her view on life.   I loved seeing the ins and outs of Paris through her eyes.     The clubs, the Libe, and the café’s that Madeleine visited came alive to me while reading The Light of Paris.  I could hear the jazz music, I could see the couples dancing, I could envision the art she was seeing, and I could hear the French language being spoken as she made her way around Paris.  Eleanor Brown did an amazing job bring the city to life by using words.     I am still on the fence about how I feel about the rest of her story.  Was she destined to live that type of life?    I had hope that things would be different for her but I suppose it was what had to happen.   It wasn’t a horrible life she lived it was just so different from what she and I had hoped for her.   

Margie… she had different problems.    Her husband was horrible to her.   There were times I felt like he was abusing her verbally.    Her self esteem was so low.    Then she went home to her mother.   Her mother was not much better.    I cannot imagine not having a mother who doesn’t support and protect you.   Margie finds the support she needs in unlikely people.    The friends don’t push her to make decisions or tell her what to do; they listen and just spend time with her.    I loved her sharing of her grandmother’s, Madeleine, journals and how they lifted her up and showed her that there was more to life than what she was currently life she was living.   I feel like those journals really pushed her to do more.  Her ending was wonderful and perfect.    I was hoping for an ending similar to that for her.   

I finished reading The Light of Paris and just sat and thinking about how wonderful the story and characters were.   There is so much more that I would like to share about this book but it would contain spoilers and I don’t share spoilers.   Absolutely go get a copy. 

Book Links

About Eleanor Brown
Eleanor Brown is the New York Times and international bestselling author of The Weird Sisters and The Light of Paris. Her debut novel,The Weird Sisters, was an Indie Next pick, an Amazon Best Book of the Month, and a Barnes & Noble Book of the Month and a Discover selection. Eleanor’s writing has also appeared in newspapers, magazines, anthologies, and journals, including The Washington Post,CrossFit JournalCrab Orchard Review, and Publishers Weekly. She lives in Colorado and teaches and presents on writing at conferences and writing centers nationwide.

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