by Elizabeth Thompson
It took me a little while to get to this title but once I did I was completely and happily immersed in this story. It is set in two time periods.
The present day story opens in Bath (England), a place that I know well but have not been to for a while. This hooked me in immediately as I met tour guide and protagonist Hannah who was leading a Jane Austen themed tour there. When the characters went to Sally Lunn’s for her famous buns, I enjoyed a virtual return to that establishment.
Hannah has been living in London with two friends and working as a tour guide. She has always had a complicated relationship with her mother. This is seen from the first when Hannah calls her mother by her first name, Marla. Marla has pretty much been a disappointment to Hannah who is dismayed when Marla unexpectedly travels from Florida to London to see her.
But…Marla has BIG news. She and Hannah have inherited an apartment in Paris. They had no idea that Hannah’s great grandmother Ivy had ever lived in France. She did, starting in the 20s when she hoped to work for Chanel. With her roommate, Ivy met some well known writers and artists who make cameo appearances in the story. Hannah learns even more about Ivy through her diaries.
How and why was this apartment abandoned? What was Ivy’s full story? Will Marla and Hannah reconcile and…will Hannah find love? Turn the pages to find out.
I recommend this one for those who enjoy women’s fiction and stories with enticing settings. Many thanks to NetGalley and Gallery books for this title. All opinions are my own.
Pub Date 13 Apr 2021
“A heartwarming story that mixes history and mother-daughter bonds in a wonderful way.” —PopSugar
“This debut novel will appeal to historical fiction readers, Francophiles, those who enjoy stories about mother-daughter relationships, and fans of Woody Allen’s 2011 movie, Midnight in Paris. The historical mystery, beautiful setting, and vivid characters make this a must-read.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“Thompson intersperses entries from Ivy’s diary throughout, capturing the romance of 1920s Paris via Ivy’s encounters with Lost Generation luminaries like Hemingway, Stein, and Picasso. The satisfying ending provides a thoughtful resolution, as well as room for all of the characters to continue their growth. Readers who enjoy Abbi Waxman and Jenny Colgan will be drawn into this multigenerational story.” —Booklist