Happy Release Day!
TITLE: 13, rue Thérèse: A Novel
AUTHOR: Elena Mauli Shapiro
INFO: Paperback, Fiction, 269 pages
PUBLISHED: Reagan Arthur/Little Brown Books, 2011
HOW I GOT IT: Received from Publisher for Review
FROM GOODREADS: American academic Trevor Stratton discovers a box full of artifacts from World War I as he settles into his new office in Paris. The pictures, letters, and objects in the box relate to the life of Louise Brunet, a feisty, charming Frenchwoman who lived through both World Wars.
As Trevor examines and documents the relics the box offers up, he begins to imagine the story of...more American academic Trevor Stratton discovers a box full of artifacts from World War I as he settles into his new office in Paris. The pictures, letters, and objects in the box relate to the life of Louise Brunet, a feisty, charming Frenchwoman who lived through both World Wars.
As Trevor examines and documents the relics the box offers up, he begins to imagine the story of Louise Brunet's life: her love for a cousin who died in the war, her marriage to a man who works for her father, and her attraction to a neighbor in her building at 13 rue Thérèse. The more time he spends with the objects though, the truer his imaginings of Louise's life become, and the more he notices another alluring Frenchwoman: Josianne, his clerk, who planted the box in his office in the first place, and with whom he finds he is falling in love.
MY TAKE: I have to admit that the cover is the first thing that drew me to this novel. I have a photo of my English grandmother that looks eerily similar to the photo on the cover. I am glad that I did choose to read and review this book, it's an enjoyable journey through one mysterious and enigmatic woman's history and a modern man's self-imposed task of retracing her path and finding his own.
It was one of those books that draws you deeply into the story. The very astute author includes color photos of the artifacts and "puzzle pieces" that are really the focus of this story. This tactic clearly gives the reader a more intimate part in the adventure with Trevor as you don't have to imagine what he's seeing, you see it for yourself. You get to try to solve the numerous puzzles before he does.
I love finding old things with histories such as these items have. It was fun reading Trevor's thoughts and feelings as he got to know Louise through her carefully preserved time capsule. Josianne was an interesting character who I still don't really know how to take.
This book would be an outstanding book club read! The possibility for some fabulous discussions is definitely there waiting.
~~~~~ Disclaimer: All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own. I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links. I may receive books in order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one. Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.