A Week in Paris, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)

Description

From the bestselling author of A Gathering Storm, and the Richard & Judy Bookclub pick A Place of Secrets, comes a gripping and moving story spanning 25 years and World War II, secrets, family and enduring love.The streets of Paris hide a dark past...

September, 1937. Kitty Travers enrols at the Conservatoire on the banks of the Seine to pursue her dream of becoming a concert pianist.

But then war breaks out and the city of light falls into shadow.

Nearly twenty-five years later, Fay Knox, a talented young violinist, visits Paris on tour with her orchestra.

She barely knows the city, so why does it feel so familiar?

Soon touches of memory become something stronger, and she realises her connection with these streets runs deeper than she ever expected.

As Fay traces the past, with only an address in an old rucksack to help her, she discovers dark secrets hidden years ago, secrets that cause her to question who she is and where she belongs ...Praise for Rachel Hore's novels: `A tour de force.

Rachel's Paris is rich, romantic, exotic and mysterious' JUDY FINNIGAN `An elegiac tale of wartime love and secrets' Telegraph `A richly emotional story, suspenseful and romantic, but unflinching in its portrayal of the dreadful reality and legacy of war' Book of the Week, Sunday Mirror 'Pitched perfectly for a holiday read' Guardian 'Engrossing, pleasantly surprising and throughly readable' SANTA MONTEFIORE 'A beautifully written and magical novel about life, love and family' CATHY KELLY

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A little while ago a friend of mine encouraged me to read Rachel Hore's previous book, 'The Silent Tide'. I was a bit reluctant, foolishly imagining that it might be aimed predominantly at a female audience and I might find it too romantic for my taste. I couldn't have been more wrong - I found it a charming and riveting read, and I was very glad to have had it flagged up to me, as I would certainly otherwise have overlooked it.I was, therefore, keen to read this, her latest offering, and I wasn't disappointed. Ms Hore seems to have a great facility for managing parallel stories. This time the narrative revolves around Fay Knox who, in 1961, visits Paris as a violinist with an orchestra that is due to perform three concerts. Shortly before she is due to travel her mother, Kitty, is taken ill and is admitted to hospital. When she learns that Fay will be going to Paris Kitty asks her to look in a trunk in her home, and to contact someone called 'Meremarry'. Enthralled by being in Paris, Fay does as her mother asks, and gradually uncovers aspects of her own past that she had been unaware of, apart from the odd, discomforting instance of déjà vu.Meanwhile, a separate narrative unfolds, relating Kitty's own experiences shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War when she had been studying music at the Conservatoire as a promising pianist. During this time she stayed in a nunnery where the Abbess was Mère Marie. Shortly after arriving she meets Eugene Knox, an American doctor working at the American hospital in Paris, and they are soon engaged and then married. Their delight is curtailed, however, by events beyond their control as Hitler's Germany annexes the Sudetenland and then invades Poland. On 3rd September 1939, as Britain declares war on Germany following the invasion of Poland, Kitty's daughter Fay is born.The dual narratives work very well and the plot grips the attention throughout, complemented by interesting insights into the historical context of the story. I certainly enjoyed reading this.

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