My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An inheritance from a mysterious stranger . . .
An abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank of Paris . . .
And three exquisite perfumes that hold a memory . . . and a secret
London, 1955: Grace Monroe is a fortunate young woman. Despite her sheltered upbringing in Oxford, her recent marriage has thrust her into the heart of London’s most refined and ambitious social circles. However, playing the role of the sophisticated socialite her husband would like her to be doesn’t come easily to her—and perhaps never will.
Then one evening a letter arrives from France that will change everything. Grace has received an inheritance. There’s only one problem: she has never heard of her benefactor, the mysterious Eva d’Orsey.
So begins a journey that takes Grace to Paris in search of Eva. There, in a long-abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank, she discovers the seductive world of perfumers and their muses, and a surprising, complex love story. Told by invoking the three distinctive perfumes she inspired, Eva d’Orsey’s story weaves through the decades, from 1920s New York to Monte Carlo, Paris, and London.
But these three perfumes hold secrets. And as Eva’s past and Grace’s future intersect, Grace realizes she must choose between the life she thinks she should live and the person she is truly meant to be.
Illuminating the lives and challenging times of two fascinating women, The Perfume Collector weaves a haunting, imaginative, and beautifully written tale filled with passion and possibility, heartbreak and hope.
This is a beautifully written book. No matter your take on it after reading it, there is no denying that the author, Kathleen Tessaro has a wonderful grasp of the English language and is able to make the reader feel the emotions of her characters.
I was impressed with this story. You know right away that the main character has been through a lot already and that she is about to go through a lot more. The friendship between herself and one of the side characters becomes pretty important early on and it is apparent that the author put a lot of thought into how to make this book seem logical and believable.
Before I was even halfway through the story, I already knew I would have to keep reading through being tired and wishing for sleep, it was just one of those books where you become so attached to the characters you feel it would be unfair to them if you were to part ways. Sound silly? Perhaps, but this is the sign of a well written novel.
I loved the setting in this story. The time period was perfectly recreated and it is clear the author did her research before writing. I was happy with the attitudes of the characters and the way their personalities fit the image I had of them in my own mind. The main character is witty, funny and can entertain the reader for the duration. She is the type of character it is easy to respect.
I also loved that this story involved an entire cast of well written characters rather than just focusing on the life of the main character the entire time. This made the book much more dimensional and made me curious enough to stick with it.
There were a few parts of the story that I felt were a bit more dialogue and less action than I would have liked, but overall these were few and far between and did not detract much from my enjoyment of the story.
I would definitely recommend this book to others. It was a great read that can keep you happy for hours.
This review is based off of a copy provided by the publisher for the express purpose of my review for the she reads blog network. My opinions are my own.
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