Author: Juliet Blackwell
Published: September 2015, NAL
Format: ARC E-copy, 384 pages
Source: Netgalley via Publicist
An American in Paris navigates her family’s secret past and unlocks her own future, in this emotionally evocative novel by New York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell.
As a girl, Genevieve Martin spent the happiest summer of her life in Paris, learning the delicate art of locksmithing at her uncle’s side. But since then, living back in the States, she has become more private, more subdued. She has been an observer of life rather than an active participant, holding herself back from those around her, including her soon-to-be-ex-husband.
Paris never really left Genevieve, and, as her marriage crumbles, she finds herself faced with an incredible opportunity: return to the magical city of her youth to take over her late uncle’s shop. But as she absorbs all that Parisian culture has to offer, she realizes the city also holds secrets about her family that could change her forever, and that locked doors can protect you or imprison you, depending on which side of them you stand.
My thoughts: As soon as I saw the cover of this book, I was pulled in and then once I read the description, I just knew I had to read it and I'm so glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and now am left desperately wanting to go visit Paris, a city I've never actually been to, though I feel as if I did get a pretty good glimpse into her sights, sounds, and tastes.
I loved how this story is told, using the dual narrative to tell both Genevieve's story and her mother, Angela's story. The story moves seamlessly back and forth in time, weaving together two enchanting tales and seems to leave off at times when you really want to stay with the one character. I felt as if I really got to know both Genevieve and Angela equally well. With Genevieve's story, we also got flashbacks to her childhood, and her earlier visit to Paris, thus giving us the background for her move to Paris when her marriage crumbles and she finds out her uncle has died.
What really made this book come to life for me where all the secondary characters that we got to meet. I absolutely loved Sylviane, with her addiction to romantic comedies and crazy sense of humor. Then there was Phillipe, who was just mysterious enough to warrant more attention. He knew Genevieve's mother, was around when she came to visit so many years ago, and yet wouldn't share what he know about her. He definitely has a whole slew of secrets that are just begging to be revealed. And finally, there's Killian, the handsome Irishman that strikes up a friendship with Genevieve almost from the moment she arrives in Paris. These characters all helped to round out the story and provided so much more depth and, at times, humor.
Once I started reading this book, I found myself lost in it. Between the engaging story lines and the vivid, descriptive writing, I felt as if I was in Paris myself at times. And the mysteries that become unraveled really keep the book moving along. I enjoyed this and look forward to seeing what else Juliet Blackwell has written.