Moonlight Over Paris
by Jennifer Robson
Page Count: 448
Release Date: January 19, 2016
Format: Trade Paperback
How got: personal library; bought via Amazon
First attention getter: author and cover
USA Today and international bestselling author Jennifer Robson takes readers to 1920s Paris in an enthralling new historical novel that tells the riveting story of an English lady who trades in her staid aristocratic life for the mesmerizing salons and the heady world of the Lost Generation.
It’s the spring of 1924, and Lady Helena Montagu-Douglas-Parr has just arrived in France. On the mend after a near-fatal illness, she is ready to embrace the restless, heady allure of the City of Lights. Her parents have given her one year to live with her eccentric aunt in Paris and Helena means to make the most of her time. She’s quickly drawn into the world of the Lost Generation and its circle of American expatriates, and with their encouragement, she finds the courage to pursue her dream of becoming an artist.
One of those expats is Sam Howard, a journalist working for theChicago Tribune. Irascible, plain-spoken, and scarred by his experiences during the war, Sam is simply the most fascinating man she has ever met. He’s also entirely unsuitable.
As Paris is born anew, rising phoenix-like from the ashes of the Great War, Helena realizes that she, too, is changing. The good girl she once was, so dutiful and obedient, so aware of her place in the world, is gone forever. Yet now that she has shed her old self, who will she become, and where, and with whom, does she belong…?
Star Rating - 3
I found myself feeling a bit flat on this title. It’s an entertaining story and the characters are sympathetic to a degree. Yet, I found myself bored more than once and glad when the final page had been turned. This is one of those titles that are fun while you read it but that you quickly forget as the next book looms on the horizon.
The author takes her time when setting her story. 1920’s France with its hopping night life scene, artsy angst, and creative juices definitely breathes in this book. A world trying to rejuvenate after a devastating war comes across in spades. The author’s research and time in getting her details right is evident.
The characters, including the leads Helena and Howard, are very human and three-dimensional. They all have their quirks and foibles, avoiding stereotypes which are refreshing. I liked how Helena was strong enough of a personality to stand up to her parents when departing from their planned journey for her life. She wants to pursue her art and so does.
Yet, I found her to be without fire. Beyond standing up for her choice of life, I found her to be pretty apathetic. Her constant bemoaning on how here art skills aren’t that great or how her teacher isn’t paying attention to her go tiring quickly.
Unfortunately, Howard didn’t save this part of the story either. He’s great when he gets page time, but that isn’t that often. It seems like for half the story, he isn’t even there at all. While the main focus of the book is really Helena’s growth as a person and an artist, a book that touts itself as a “romance” certainly lacked a bit in that department with its hero absent many times.
Overall, this book was OK but ultimately forgettable. I enjoyed the story and characters during the tale, but I had no problem going onto the next book afterwards. The writer has written more engrossing works than this; don’t start with this tale if you haven’t read her before. But still, an pleasurable read and diversion from hectic daily life.