Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman

Paperback, 384 pages
Expected publication: September 6th 2016 by Berkley
As Paris teeters on the edge of the German occupation, a young French woman closes the door to her late grandmother’s treasure-filled apartment, unsure if she’ll ever return. 

An elusive courtesan, Marthe de Florian cultivated a life of art and beauty, casting out all recollections of her impoverished childhood in the dark alleys of Montmartre. With Europe on the brink of war, she shares her story with her granddaughter Solange Beaugiron, using her prized possessions to reveal her innermost secrets. Most striking of all are a beautiful string of pearls and a magnificent portrait of Marthe painted by the Italian artist Giovanni Boldini. As Marthe’s tale unfolds, like velvet itself, stitched with its own shadow and light, it helps to guide Solange on her own path.

Inspired by the true account of an abandoned Parisian apartment, Alyson Richman brings to life Solange, the young woman forced to leave her fabled grandmother’s legacy behind to save all that she loved.

My Thoughts…

Oh, this WWII era is my absolute favorite to read about.    The women, the men, the secrets, and the mysteries are all so fascinating to me.     This is a little different due to the fact that it isn’t about the war, at least not directly.   This is the story of an amazing woman who lives an extraordinary life.    Marthe is a kept woman by a very influential man.   Being kept in this case was not a bad thing, she lived in high class, high quality lifestyle.   The quality of life she lived shared so much about the happenings in the era.   As the war moved closer to Paris the lifestyle changes were bound to happen yet Marthe took it all in stride and continued living her life as she wanted.      As her story is told to her granddaughter, I could picture the story and wanted to be there to hear it firsthand. 

The relationships within the story were also intriguing.    Marthe gave up her son when he was born so she could live the life she wanted and the baby could have a family that would love him completely.    When they met again their relationship did not take off.    Her son then realized that his daughter, Solange, needed her grandmother.   What he could not see is how much Marthe needed Solange.    The relationship between Solange and her grandmother was my favorite part of the story.   

The story moved quickly and I devoured each page.     The Velvet Hours was a book that when finished I just sat back and thought about all the history that was shared between a grandmother and her granddaughter.       

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1 comment:

  1. Great review thank you, I can't wait to read this,