I’ll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable

I'll See You in ParisWhen 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.

The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth

The Things We KeepI was so excited to receive an advanced readers’ edition of The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth after reading the book description. A story sharing a woman’s experience with early onset Alzheimer’s disease, the book is very touching. I connected with the characters early on and felt for them, which is something I look for while reading.

The book is told from three different perspectives. We first meet Anna, a 38-year-old woman who has been checked into a residential care facility when she begins to show signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Once there she meets another resident her age, Luke, and a touching connection is formed between them. Through these characters, Hepworth illustrates the frustration and sadness of living with Alzheimer’s disease.

We also meet Eve Bennett, a newly single mother, and her daughter Clementine. The story is written from each of their perspectives and it’s very interesting to see how they each deal with the loss of a loved one. Eve begins working at the residential care facility where she meets Anna and Luke and after witnessing their bond, she goes to great lengths to help them.

This is an engaging story and I was hooked quickly. I definitely recommend this read!

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for sending me an advanced readers’ edition of The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth in exchange for an honest review! The book is released for sale today, January 19, 2016.