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The Light of Paris Paperback – April 4, 2017
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"Devoted" by Dean Koontz
For the first time in paperback, from Dean Koontz, the master of suspense, comes an epic thriller about a terrifying killer and the singular compassion it will take to defeat him. | Learn more
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“Fresh, endearing…finely written and absorbing, and explores the always compelling questions of how to balance reality and romance, duty and dreams, family and freedom.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A story about love, marriage, divorce, self-discovery and how things often turn out far from what you had planned.”—Fort Worth Star Telegram
“The follow-up to Brown’s delightful dysfunctional-family comedy The Weird Sisters will cure your stay-at-home blues.”—Miami Herald
“Brown’s novel tackles an age-old question about what life would be like if we took more chances….Makes readers sit up and take notice.”—RT Book Reviews
“Brown conveys the importance of the arts in creating a life as well the need to heed all voices, even those from the past, in looking to the future.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A charming novel about living life on your own terms that will make you long for the streets of Paris.”—Popsugar.com
“I adored The Light of Paris. It’s so lovely and big-hearted—it made me long for Paris.”—Jojo Moyes, New York Times-bestselling author of Me Before You and After You
“Eleanor Brown is high priestess of that rich place where soulfulness and emotional insight meet laugh-out-loud humor. In her wry and affecting follow-up to The Weird Sisters, we meet Margie and Madeleine—two women separated by decades and continents, but on same essential journey toward self-exploration and self-knowledge. Somehow each must learn to thrust off others’ expectations and their own well-worn fears to reclaim themselves and discover the lives they were always meant for. A deeply rewarding read, The Light of Paris will keep you thinking—and smiling—long after the last page is turned.”—Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun
“Paris is always a good idea. It's not just a line from an old movie, it's a credo, and the underlying idea of Eleanor Brown's wise and charming new novel, The Light of Paris. Protagonist Madeleine Spencer is repressed, depressed and downright oppressed in her marriage to a chilly Chicago businessman. When she flees both to her Southern hometown her critical mother is less than welcoming. It's only when Madeleine opens a dusty trunk in the attic of the family home and finds her grandmother Margie's forgotten Parisian diary that Madeleine begins to find her way home--both emotionally and physically. The Light of Paris is a warm and illuminating novel of great hope and heart.”—Mary Kay Andrews, New York Times-bestselling author of Beach Town and Ladies’ Night
About the Author
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0399573720
- ISBN-13 : 978-0399573729
- Product Dimensions : 5.47 x 0.65 x 8.18 inches
- Publisher : G.P. Putnam's Sons; Reprint Edition (April 4, 2017)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #279,199 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Both characters—with one story of the grandmother Maggie in the early 1920’s and one of the granddaughter Madeline at the end of the twentieth century—were from a wealthy society family with social expectations of conformity to traditional roles and willowy genteel appearance. There were fewer choices for women at the beginning of the twentieth century than at the end, going against the grain was difficult for a woman in the post WWI era. Maggie, the grandmother, faced fewer choices and faced real difficulties in trying to take the path less followed. I found the contemporary character Madeline whiny and weak as she struggled with problems reuslting from her own bad choices. It was not The Sun Also Rises, but Paris in post-war Paris amidst artists and ex-pats was a vibrant time and the chapters with Madeline had my attention, the ones about Madeline were just tedious and annoying to slog through.
The parents of both characters were stiff and unyielding, pretty one-dimensional actually. Madeline’s husband is abusive, belittling, and controlling and there is really no compelling reason to believe she would ever have chosen to marry such a man, let alone stay with him.
I softened somewhat to Madeline’s story in her final few chapters, it earned 3 stars only because of the ending and Maggie’s more interesting storyline.
I would have liked to have known more about Maggie’s husband, he showed her kindness early on in the story and played such a heroic role in the end. It is implied that Maggie was not happy in her marriage and for some reason only had the one child. The child—Maggie’s daughter and Madeline’s mother—is a remote and chilly character and although it is explained somewhat at the end, it is hard to fathom her treatment of her daughter Madeline. One would have expected more of a thawing during their time together while preparing the house for sale.
As both a daughter and a mother, I found the story very touching. The exploration of the relationships between mothers and daughters felt very honest. I finished this book on my way to a weekend visit with my mother and daughter and it made me want to hug both of them even tighter and try to understand and appreciate them for the unique and accomplished women that they are.
Read this book if you love Paris, if you are a daughter, if you are a mother or if you appreciate beautiful writing.
However, every now and then we all come upon a book that speaks to us. The Light of Paris is one of those books for me. I have read many books set in Paris that are light and fun reads but this story is different. I realized this book was special right away. Brown's use of thematic patterning kept the lives of Margie and her grandmother tied together despite barely knowing each other. The back and forth rhythm of the chapters worked perfectly as the characters from different generations grappled with living a life of conformity or of personal expression.
Brown's detailed description of both primary and secondary characters--- emotions (or lack thereof), mannerisms and facial expressions helped imprint each in my mind. Even the chosen cities and the small details depicted created positive and negative feelings about the characters futures.
I couldn't put this book down and I haven't said that about anything, fiction or non-fiction, in a long while. This is the kind of book that makes one hopeful about the future of storytelling.