Published on April 22, 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books
Genre: Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Historical
Bienvenue à Paris!
When April Vogt’s boss tells her about an apartment in the ninth arrondissement that has been discovered after being shuttered for the past seventy years, the Sotheby’s continental furniture specialist does not hear the words “dust” or “rats” or “decrepit.” She hears Paris. She hears escape.
Once in France, April quickly learns the apartment is not merely some rich hoarder’s repository. Beneath the cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a goldmine, and not because of the actual gold (or painted ostrich eggs or mounted rhinoceros horns or bronze bathtub). First, there’s a portrait by one of the masters of the Belle Epoque, Giovanni Boldini. And then there are letters and journals written by the very woman in the painting, Marthe de Florian. These documents reveal that she was more than a renowned courtesan with enviable decolletage. Suddenly April’s quest is no longer about the bureaux plats and Louis-style armchairs that will fetch millions at auction. It’s about discovering the story behind this charismatic woman.
It’s about discovering two women, actually.
With the help of a salty (and annoyingly sexy) Parisian solicitor and the courtesan’s private diaries, April tries to uncover the many secrets buried in the apartment. As she digs into Marthe’s life, April can’t help but take a deeper look into her own. Having left behind in the States a cheating husband, a family crisis about to erupt, and a career she’s been using as the crutch to simply get by, she feels compelled to sort out her own life too. When the things she left bubbling back home begin to boil over, and Parisian delicacies beyond flaky pâtisseries tempt her better judgment, April knows that both she and Marthe deserve happy finales.
Whether accompanied by croissants or champagne, this delectable debut novel depicts the Paris of the Belle Epoque and the present day with vibrant and stunning allure. Based on historical events, Michelle Gable’s A Paris Apartment will entertain and inspire, as readers embrace the struggles and successes of two very unforgettable women.
A debut novel by Michelle Gable that centers about the life of April Vogt in the present and Marthe de Florian in the past.
How come I DNF this book even though the concept of the story is captivating for all the historical fiction readers?
I loved the two books of Michelle Gable “I’ll See You in Paris” and “The Book of Summer”. Her books were so great especially when you want to try some historical romance. She writes books that are really moving and combines it with contemporary and historical fiction. However. in this book. I couldn’t put myself in the characters.
The idea of the story during the time of 1940’s is so amazing and it holds my attention and April’s work as a furniture analyst got me curious with all the history. But then, the pacing of the story is dull and the way she writes made me frustrated. April’s life is not a fairytale as what you imagine although she loves her work, she travels to Paris – it wasn’t a perfect life because of her cheating husband. While, the other characters, were not as what I expected it to be. They are not likeable characters. I think it is because this is the life of living in New York and in the corporate world that I found it toxic and daunting. *cringe.
It’s very different to the other books that she wrote. I don’t recommend it at all but I want you to try her other books.
Read this if……
you’re a fan of historical fiction.
Places it was set
Paris and New York