Publisher: Atria Books (2015)
Length: 384 pages
Set in 1890s Paris, Sandrine Salome has returned in flight from her husband. With her parents dead, she turns to her grandmother for assistance. However, the beautiful mansion she knew as a teenager is closed up. Her grandmother insists it is only being renovated, but Sandrine’s attraction to the place pulls her there against her grandmother’s wishes. She meets a young man, Mr. Duplessi, and the mystery deepens. Together they end up exploring the house and much more.
This was a gorgeous, well-crafted novel. It was so easy to fall into Sandrine’s world and to walk beside her wondering the same things she was wondering. Her grandmother is the last in a long line of French courtesans, being able to trace her profession and heritage back to the 16th century celebrated La Lune. That alone is a beautiful beginning to a magical mystery. Toss in the the setting of 1890s Paris and the beautiful old mansion full of secrets, and you have a deep, beautiful tale.
I absolutely loved the setting. Several Paris locations were featured in the book and that made the tale one of those that you want to believe was true. Sandrine is a married woman, fled from her American husband, in a time when such things were not done. And if they were done, there were tucked away out of sight of the public. This gave Sandrine an unusual status in society, or rather, the lack of one. Plus, she has this angry husband who is searching for her.
It was a very satisfying book with a lovely mix of mystery, historical fiction, romance, and magic. This book was a joy to read.
What I Liked: The setting of 1890s Paris; Sandrine’s character; a long line of courtesans; the mystery of the mansion and La Lune; the cover art
What I Disliked: Nothing – I really enjoyed this novel!
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