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Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I Paperback – October 3, 2017
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“Gaynor and Webb’s first collaboration is beautifully told [...] the authors fully capture the characters’ voices as each person is dramatically shaped by the war to end all wars.” (Booklist)
“Last Christmas in Paris is an extraordinary epistolary novel that explores the history and aftermath of the Great War in a sensitive, memorable and profoundly moving fashion. A book to savor, to share and discuss with friends, and above all to cherish.” (Jennifer Robson, International bestselling author of Goodnight from London and Somewhere in France )
“For fans of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society comes another terrific epistolary historical novel that is simply unputdownable [...] this remarkable novel will undoubtedly go on my keeper shelf.” (Karen White, New York Times bestselling author of The Night the Lights Went Out)
“Humor, love, tragedy, and hope make for a moving, uplifting read. A winner!” (Kate Quinn, author of The Alice Network)
“Best-selling author Gaynor (A Memory of Violets) teams with historical novelist Webb (Rodin’s Lover) to pen a moving and heartfelt story of love and bravery [...]” (Library Journal (starred review))
"There is a special talent to writing the epistolary novel and Gaynor and Webb have mastered it... (in) this devastatingly beautiful work of historical fiction." (Renee Rosen, bestselling author of Windy City Blues)
About the Author
HAZEL GAYNOR is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of A Memory of Violets and The Girl Who Came Home, for which she received the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. Her third novel The Girl from the Savoy was an Irish Times and Globe & Mail Canada bestseller, and was shortlisted for the BGE Irish Book Awards Popular Fiction Book of the Year. The Cottingley Secret and Last Christmas in Paris will be published in 2017.
Hazel was selected by US Library Journal as one of 'Ten Big Breakout Authors' for 2015 and her work has been translated into several languages. Originally from Yorkshire, England, Hazel now lives in Ireland.
HEATHER WEBB is the nationally acclaimed author of BecomingJosephine and Rodin's Lover,which have sold in multiple countries worldwide. In 2015, Rodin's Lover was aGoodreads Top Pick. In addition to novel writing, Heather works with aspiring authors as a professional freelance editor and teaches craft courses at a local college. She lives in New England with her family and one feisty bunny.
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In this wonderfully written novel, I traveled back in time to 1914. England, Evie Elliott waives goodbye to her brother, Will Elliott, and their childhood friend, Thomas Archibald Harding, who have joined English army and now heading to France. As soon as the famous duo leaves Elliott's estate, Evie runs to her brother's desk and starts a very first letter and in our case a very first chapter of this wonderful book.
First letters are long, bright, happy, full of jokes and hopes that the war will be short lived and will end by Christmas, that they plan to spend in Paris. Little did they know that this horrific war will last four dreadful years.
As years go by, the amount of letters decreases, and so it's content. Tom's letters are full of horror stories of war and Evie's - of encouragement and hopes for a better future. Both Evie and Tom loose close family members during this dreadful time. But life goes on, and so is war. People are looking for ways they can help each other and their army. Besides making new clothes for the soldiers, women are now taking over the jobs that were done by men before the war. Evie becomes village mailman, her friend Alice takes nursing training and goes to France to help their British army. In spare time, Evie starts to write a column for a newspaper that is owned by Tom's family. During this time Evie also realizes that she has fallen in love with Tom, and Alice encourages Evie to write him a love letter. Evie follows her friend's advice, but the letter gets lost. It will take long 2.5 years before it will find it's way to Tom.
This is a wonderful love story that survived the Great War.
"Last Christmas in Paris" deserves more than 5 stars. This marvelous story is told primarily through letters and telegrams, has a splendid set of characters, and a fascinating plot that unfolds very quickly.
I'm always hesitant to say any more because you just need to read this book! I loved it! I thought it was extremely well written especially since it was in the form of letters. It was a story wonderfully told and I fell in love with the setting and the characters. It did show the sadness and toll war takes on those who are involved and I really appreciate that look inside. This was certainly one I could not put down! A great little Christmas read, but you could absolutely read it any time and I would so encourage you to do so! I am glad to wrap up the year in my last few books with this gem and so glad I found it! Judging just by the cover I expected it to be a little "cheesy" but it was not at all, a pleasant surprise.