Thursday, March 2, 2017

I'll See You in Paris

I’ll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable   400 pages

One of my all-time favorite books is Michelle Gable’s debut novel, A Paris Apartment. I loved that story; if memory serves me correctly, I read it in three evenings. So naturally I was excited when Gable’s second novel, I’ll See You in Paris, was released. I purposely waited a while to read it as I was afraid that if it wasn’t as good as the first one, I would be horribly disappointed. I’m glad I waited. I’ll See you in Paris is not as good and at times was a difficult read.

Like A Paris Apartment, I’ll See in Paris has dualing timelines with the narrative weaving between 2001 and 1973. One of the biggest issues I have with this book is that the 1973 sections felt more like 1930s or ‘40s.  It just seemed like the timeframe was off.

The story has four main heroines. First there is Annie. She’s gotten herself engaged to a young man she barely knows who has joined the Army and is headed off to Afghanistan shortly after 9/11. Her mother, Laurel, is less-than enthusiastic about this development. Laurel is our second heroine.

Laurel and Annie are about to leave for the English countryside to settle some business that Annie doesn’t really understand, but the reads figure it out pretty quickly. Right before their departure, Annie discovers a book her mother seems to be interested in, yet the only thing Laurel reads is legal briefs.

Then the story shifts to our third heroine, Pru Valentine. She is in desperate need of employment and answers a want ad. There in the English countryside, Pru becomes a companion/assistant to an eccentric woman in her early nineties, our fourth heroine, who has a penchant for running around waving a gun and not wearing a blouse.

This would seem too far-fetched is the woman wasn’t the real-life Gladys Deacon Spencer-Churchill. There is a mystery surrounding Gladys. Is she the Duchess of Marlboro who disappeared forty years earlier? It was that mystery that kept me reading, and the one that I didn’t figure out so easily. Gladys felt like a caricature to me.

The main theme of the novel seems to be people are probably not who you think they are. And that is certainly true for the male protagonists in this tale.

Although reading this review, it doesn’t sound like I cared for this work. I admit, again that I was disappointed that it was an excellent as A Paris Apartment. I’ll See You in Paris receives 3 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world.

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