Elizabeth Thompson comes to the blog with her debut offering.
Lost In Paris
Told from the perspective of Hannah for the most part – she’d fled her mother and a life of tumult to take a job that suited the bookworm perfectly: leading Jane Austen-themed tours in the English countryside. Her relationship with her mother Marla has always been tense: Marla’s alcoholism, her secretive past and Hannah’s lack of knowledge about her own father have only added to the stress. So much so that Hannah was raised (and relied on) her grandmother Ivy for stability and love. But Ivy has since passed, and when Hannah arrives home to find her mother there, complete with a deed to an apartment in Paris that neither knew of, and a few pages of the younger Ivy’s diary – the story takes flight.
Using a bit of the past informed by Ivy’s diary – the two learn that Ivy had befriended the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and others in her time in the city – as she sought her own acknowledgment as a fashion designer. With descriptions of Paris in the early part of the 20th century, the stories of the arts culture, the vibe and the people – that part of the story is enchanting and gives readers the need to discover the places (some still there – others not) that are detailed. It is also during this time of discovery for Hannah and Marla that Marla is able to relive her past before Hannah, and the two are slowly able to work out their own relationship troubles all while trying to clear out an apartment that had been shuttered since the 1940’s and forgotten (or unknown) ever since.
Hannah was the star here – her own comfort and confidence in the books she loved so much – her questions about her own past, her mother and even her grandmother, and for it all to take place in Paris gave a background and setting that was itself a character. The two (Marla and Hannah) had tons to work through, and there were more times than not that it felt (at least in Hannah’s view) near impossible, that finding the slow resolutions and a better understanding felt plausible, if mitigated in the drama somewhat by the beauty that is described both in the current day and through Ivy’s diaries. The complexities of weaving past and present worked, if the overlaying of the relationship between Hannah and Marla was predominant. An interesting and intriguing story sure to fuel your dreams of walking the streets of Paris for yourself.
Title: Lost in Paris
Author: Elizabeth Thompson
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Contemporary Elements, Family Saga, France, Friendship, Grief, Historic Elements, Mystery Elements, Setting: France
Published by: Gallery Books
Published on: 13 April, 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 10 Hours: 10 minutes
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When a deed to an apartment in Paris turns up in an old attic trunk, an estranged mother and daughter must reunite to uncover the secret and mysterious life of a family matriarch—
Hannah Bond has always been a bookworm, which is why she fled Florida—and her unstable, alcoholic mother—for a quiet life leading Jane Austen-themed tours through the British countryside. But on New Year’s Eve, everything comes crashing down when she arrives back at her London flat to find her mother, Marla, waiting for her.
Marla’s brought two things with her: a black eye from her ex-boyfriend and an envelope she discovered while cleaning out the attic of Hannah’s childhood home. Its contents? The deed to an apartment in Paris, an old key, and newspaper clippings about the death of a famous writer named Andres Armand. Hannah, wary of her mother’s motives, reluctantly agrees to accompany her to Paris, where against all odds, they discover great-grandma Ivy’s one-bedroom apartment frozen in 1940 and covered in layers of dust and cobwebs.
As Hannah and Marla uncover clues about great-grandma Ivy in the nooks and crannies of the apartment—including a diary detailing evenings spent drinking and dancing with Hemingway and the Fitzgeralds—they trace her steps through the city in an attempt to understand why she never mentioned her life in Paris before settling in Florida during the war.
A heartwarming and charming saga set in the City of Lights, Lost in Paris is an unforgettable celebration of family and the love between a mother and a daughter.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.