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Capturing Paris: A Novel Paperback – May 2, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (May 2, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312340982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312340988
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,106,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

akThe outwardly enviable and inwardly decrepit Parisian life of ex-pats Annie and Wesley Reed is disrupted by a mysterious, sultry stranger in Davis's debut novel. After meeting Daphne Walker at a dinner party, Annie, at Daphne's urging, pursues her poetry and lands a project writing poems to accompany photographs of Paris. As her poetry career takes off, her relationship with Wesley becomes more disaffected. Dreamy and sentimental, readers with a soft spot for the city of lights will want to give this a look.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Back Cover

After twenty five years of marriage, Annie and Wesley are living the type of elegant, sophisticated life in Paris that many Americans dream about.  Their apartment in the Marais district is filled with wonderful food, accomplished friends, and good wine.  All of this changes when Wesley loses his job and an attractive, magnetic woman enters their lives.  Suddenly the sights, smells and sounds of Paris are cast in a different light, and may never be the same.
 
"In Capturing Paris, we meet Annie Reed, poet and wife, navigating through a year of upheaval. Through it all, her adopted city of Paris glows, with its abundance of charm, quirks, and moods, all beautifully captured in Katharine Davis's sensitive observations."
--Leslie Pietrzyk, author of Pears on a Willow Tree and A Year and a Day,

"In this graceful and atmospheric first novel, Katharine Davis explores a question that fascinates us all: what if I had chosen differently, when I still had my choices to make?  Through Annie's reinvention of herself in a time of flux, we see anew the consequences of deciding to be who we are, and the consequences of questioning all that we have been".
--Carolyn Parkhurst, author of The Dogs of Babel
 
Born in Summit, New Jersey, KATHARINE DAVIS grew up in Europe. For the last thirty years, she has lived in Washington, DC where she has worked at the National Gallery of Art, taught French, written a cooking column for The York Weekly, and raised two children. This is her first novel.
 
 

More About the Author

Katharine Davis began writing fiction in 1999. Capturing Paris (St. Martin's Press, 2006) was her first novel. Recommended in Real Simple Spring Travel 2007, the novel was also included in the New York Times suggestions for fiction set in Paris. Her second novel, East Hope, published by New American Library in 2009, won the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance 2010 Award for Fiction. A Slender Thread, her third novel, will be published by New American Library in August, 2010. She is an Associate Editor at The Potomac Review. Her website is www.katharinedavis.com. and she can be reached at Katharine@katharinedavis.com.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Woods on May 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
Here is a book to swallow whole. For years I've missed the rich novels of Laurie Colwin but in Katharine Davis I may have found the next master of domestic detail. Her fine novel, Capturing Paris,not only tells a deeply moving story of a marriage thrown off balance by a complicated new acquaintance, but it also brings Paris to life. Taste the pastry at a sidewalk cafe, sit at a table set for an intimate dinner party, walk the paths of a wild country garden,wash the freshest mussels from Brittany at an old stone sink. In Davis' capable hands, the reader falls into a world where life's important moments happen around the dinner table: wine, cheese, flowers, a perfectly roasted chicken, chocolate mousse, and a congenial coversation that barely covers the undercurrent of lust and betrayal.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By mostserene1 on May 12, 2006
Format: Paperback
With the painterly hand of an Impressionist master, Ms. Davis artfully renders the ravishing images, scents, and sounds of the City of Light in the accomplished manner of a seasoned novelist (this is, surprisingly, Ms. Davis' first full-length work of fiction). An acute observer of emotional nuance, Ms. Davis convincingly unspools her seductive narrative of personal relationships - relationships fragile, intricate, and enduring - within the alluring contours of glamorous Paris and environs. I shall spare our gentle readers another summary and instead leave you with a warning: Danger. Reading Capturing Paris will likely trigger an irresistable urge to visit the City of Light. In fact, I'm already packing!!! Bon Voyage.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Terri DuLong on February 4, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a confirmed Francophile, I'm always on the look out for both fiction and non-fiction books about Paris.

This one did not disappoint! For once, a realistic main character. Not one with the stiletto heels, high power job, looking for Mr. Right while romping in every bed available.

Davis's prose was smooth and enjoyable. Her characters and plot were believable and she wrapped up the ending in a timely fashion that left the reader satisfied.

I look forward to more novels from this author.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rosamond Vaule on August 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
Davis knows and loves Paris and her words--whether describing an individual, a meal, a room, a park, or a photograph--get it right. It's a sensuous book. She has an eye, ear, and nose for details that bring the story alive, make it all believable, and engage the reader. And she knows the kinds of people and situations she's writing about. We connect with our own memories of Paris, our own experiences of relationships, of change, of self-discovery. It's a hard book to pull away from.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By B. Bell on October 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For a first-time novel, this effort is to be commended. Regardless of the fact that the plot is predictable, it is handled with grace and sensitivity. Very intimate knowledge of daily life in Paris, which was part of its charm. I would recommend it to any Francophile.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mme on November 23, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
superb use of accurate French language and Parisian locale; nostalgic for those who love Paris
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Alvarez on November 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
As the title suggests, it does in fact capture Paris. The author is so detailed with everything the city has to offer you almost forget that there's a story. The story itself is one that I've read many times before but the way she [the author] incorporates Paris into everything the character does gives it a new and interesting twist. This book was a very good read and I enjoyed it very much. The ending was just right in a bitter sweet way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ashton on April 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found this book depressing and shallow. I also found it did not convey a good sense of Paris. I kept asking why she was willing to abandon everything to stay in a city that was cold and dreary and didn't seem all that nice. I read it while in Paris and didn't connect.

I also wanted to slap several of the characters and tell them to grow up and get a grip on it.

Even a book about midlife crises could be easier to endure.
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