When I started I’ll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable I liked it, but when I finished the book, I loved it. A narrative that picks up as the story progresses, I felt truly engaged with the characters by the end. I also love the cover. A worn book on a café table in Paris? How dreamy! The story is filled with classic literary quotes from Hardy, Proust, Woolf, as well as many others, and each was a lovely addition to the story.
The story is based on the real life of Gladys Spencer-Churchill, also known as the infamous Duchess of Marlborough, although she denies the title vehemently throughout the book.
Annie, a young woman of 22 years, finds herself in Branbury, England with her mother. Annie has found an old tattered biography of the duchess and sets out to answer the question of the woman’s true identity. Annie may just fill in some of the gaps of her own family history as well during her search…
Between present day flashes of Annie’s search, we meet Gladys, Pru (her American caretaker), and Win (her self proclaimed biographer) back in the 1970’s. I must say that I LOVED the witty banter between Pru and Win. It was quick, sarcastic, and full of affection all at once. It was fantastic.
I also really liked Gladys, a gruff old woman over 90 years old who doesn’t filter her comments and speaks her outrageous thoughts. Despite her hard exterior and continuous desire to be the center of attention, we get to see a side of the woman that is quite endearing.
While I highly enjoyed Pru, Win, and Gladys, I didn’t especially enjoy Annie. A perfectly fine character, I thought that she acted quite immaturely during her search. It was interesting to compare Annie at 22 years old to Pru, who was 19 years old as a caretaker, and their differences in maturity.
My favorite quote – “You see, Miss Valentine, that’s the problem with getting old. Your body changes but your heart does not.”
I’ll See You in Paris is a great book that grows with you as the plot twists. Definitely add this one to your TBR list, especially if you enjoy historical fiction and wild characters!
I received a copy of I’ll See You in Paris from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review.