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A Paris Apartment: A Novel Hardcover – April 22, 2014
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“With its well-developed, memorable characters and the author's skillful transitioning between story lines...this stunning and fascinating debut will capture the interest of a wide audience but particularly those interested in stories about women behind famous men like Melanie Benjamin's The Aviator's Wife or Nancy Horan's Under the Wide and Starry Sky. Highly recommended.” ―Library Journal (starred review)
“The women's fiction world is lucky to welcome Michelle Gable to its ranks. In A Paris Apartment, Gable deftly weaves romance, mystery, past and present into a wonderful page-turner that will have readers clamoring for her next book.” ―Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author
“A Paris Apartment winds between past and present, between two passionate women and their lives, loves and fortunes. Informed and assured, debut author Gable's prose is fresh and emotionally complex. Glimpses into Parisian life, the arts, and the high-end antiquities trade are piquant accents to an exceptional mystery.” ―Sophie Littlefield, national bestselling author
“The past and present intertwine in Michelle Gable's sparkling debut, which sings of the Belle Epoque, French romance, and a few secrets that change everything.” ―Kristin Harmel, internationally bestselling author of The Sweetness of Forgetting
“A charming read about a fascinating history and the woman behind it.” ―Historical Novel Society
“Gable's Paris of today and yesteryear are worlds that are easy and pleasurable to get lost in. April's and Marthe's stories intersect, at times blatantly and at times subtly mirroring or contrasting one another. ...This parallel construction, the sense of place and atmosphere, and Gable's often witty writing are the book's greatest strengths.” ―The San Diego Union-Tribune
“Pick it up as the perfect escape--you'll quickly be whisked away through the vividly described scenery and events of life in Paris.” ―Spa Weekly Daily
“This debut novel is a keeper. It will definitely stay with you long after you finish the last page.” ―Chicklit Club
“The inspiration for A Paris Apartment began in 2010 when Gable's agent sent her an intriguing article with the note: 'I think you can do something with this.' A real-life Parisian flat, abandoned for 70 years, its contents frozen in time? Absolutely, she could.” ―Celeste Williams, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“Love, art, history, Paris -- what more can you ask for?” ―FineBooks Magazine
“Vive le Paris apartment!” ―Booklist
“You'll be quickly drawn in...there are reasons galore why this story is compelling....A fun and insightful novel.” ―Maine Antique Digest
More About the Author
After growing up in San Diego, Michelle attended The College of William & Mary in Virginia, where she majored in accounting as most aspiring writers do. She currently resides in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California, with her husband, two daughters, lazy cat, and one very bitey rabbit.
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Top Customer Reviews
Perhaps I had unrealistically high expectations - what a great story could be told -- the unopened apartment, the story behind the painting, Marthe and the time of the Belle Epoque. Then contrast that with the modern-day story of the antiques experts who must have been agog at the opportunity to research the priceless antiques and delve into Marthe's journals.
The actual Marthe started out as a bartender at the famous Les Folies Bergères, became an elegant courtesan known for having famous lovers, including a few prime ministers, a French president and the artist Boldini. Marthe left the apartment to her granddaughter, Madame de Florian, who shuttered the apartment and fled Paris at the start of WWII.
So, I was seriously excited to open this book and settle in for a good read.
The chapters alternate between Marthe de Florian's story told through fictionalized diary entries and April Vogt, a current-day American furniture expert from Sotheby’s who is called to Paris to help prepare the contents of the apartment for auction.
Marthe's storyline was at times fascinating and the author (thankfully) took much from her actual life -- how she created her name, her elegant persona and how she dug herself out of a brothel into the high class society during the Bell Epoque. In contrast, the modern day story of April Vogt reads like poorly written chic-lit. I found my self slogging through April's chapters and only somewhat enjoying Marthe's.Read more ›
Told in two parts: (1) the apartment, its contents and its owner and (2) the expert furniture appraiser from New York, April Vogt, sent to see to the cataloguing of the items for auction.
The sections dealing with the apartment and Madame de Florian are for the most part taken from history. Her story unfolds through journals found in the apartment, and are made to be intriguing and entertaining. Even knowing the author was writing fiction, I liked what she did with the facts. Despite some writing gaffes with the use of unfortunate words and phrases here and there, this being a debut novel I can certainly let it pass.
Paris itself is depicted beautifully and for one who has never been I truly enjoyed the descriptions.
The problem arises with April's present-day section of the book. I could not warm to April. In these sections the writing changed to what I would consider silly chick-lit. For a VERY well-educated woman, April Vogt, French and Continental Furniture expert, she simply whines her way through her marriage, family relationships, her job, and a fling that absolutely everyone who got to page 24 would have seen coming.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent book with intrigues that are constantly developing until the end. Vividly takes you to many areas of Paris that help recall visits to those areas by yourself.Published 13 hours ago by Amazon Customer
I loved the history, art, romance and struggle. I lived in San Diego and have spent time in Paris. This book felt like home.Published 3 days ago by Mac
A great quick read about Paris and turn of century life. Loved the book!Published 3 days ago by Sharon
This book was interesting from Page 1. I loved the richness of the descriptions, both of the apartment, and the characters and their feelings. Read morePublished 3 days ago by R. Solomon
I had great hopes going into this book, but found it very disappointing. I hate to leave an unfinished book so I plodded through -- so anxious to be done with it. Read morePublished 3 days ago by mbo
I love this story for the discovery of the Apartment and its historical findings. The found journals were a tale in themselves. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Gail James