• Paperback: 352 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (January 19, 2016)
An aristocratic young woman leaves the sheltered world of London to find adventure, passion, and independence in 1920s Paris in this mesmerizing story from the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of Somewhere in France and After the War is Over.
Recovering from a broken wartime engagement and a serious illness that left her near death, Lady Helena Montagu-Douglas-Parr vows that for once she will live life on her own terms. Breaking free from the stifling social constraints of the aristocratic society in which she was raised, she travels to France to stay with her free spirited aunt. For one year, she will simply be Miss Parr. She will explore the picturesque streets of Paris, meet people who know nothing of her past—and pursue her dream of becoming an artist.
A few years after the Great War’s end, the City of Light is a bohemian paradise teeming with actors, painters, writers, and a lively coterie of American expatriates who welcome Helena into their romantic and exciting circle. Among them is Sam Howard, an irascible and infuriatingly honest correspondent for theChicago Tribune. Dangerously attractive and deeply scarred by the horror and carnage of the war, Sam is unlike any man she has ever encountered. He calls her Ellie, sees her as no one has before, and offers her a glimpse of a future that is both irresistible and impossible.
As Paris rises phoenix-like from the ashes of the Great War, so too does Helena. Though she’s shed her old self, she’s still uncertain of what she will become and where she belongs. But is she strong enough to completely let go of the past and follow her heart, no matter where it leads her?
Artfully capturing the Lost Generation and their enchanting city, Moonlight Over Paris is the spellbinding story of one young woman’s journey to find herself, and claim the life—and love—she truly wants.
Review: Jennifer Robson is a wonderful writer for the period around WWI. After The War Is Over was a particular favorite of mine that I reviewed last year here.
Moonlight Over Paris takes place in the mid-twenties. I felt like Helena was a little bit like Edith from Downton Abbey, only a little more spunky. She really took charge of her life after her illness. I especially liked how hard she worked for what she wanted.
There are a few personal things about this book that made me smile. One is the use of the word Allonsy!
Then there's the girl that she meets at art school, named Daisy Fields. I adored her and all of her friends, but Daisy happened to have the name of a song I've loved by Keith Harkin.
Etienne was another favorite character. I loved when she told him that she was glad she had a sheltered life because she hadn't been taught how to hate, when he told her he was homosexual. I wish more people could be like Helena.
Helena had some meetings with some fabulous people in Paris, like Fitzgerald, Hemingway and Stein. It was like a snapshot out of The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. This was such an exciting time and Jennifer Robson made you feel like you were really there.
I don't think there was a character in this book that I didn't like. Aunt Agnes was a spunky old lady who really broke with conventions, living with a man for years, before she was able to marry him. Oh and her little doggie, Hamish was fabulous too.
Sam is her love interest. It was nice that this was a slow relationship. It allowed you to see all relationships she builds in Paris and how she changes and grows as a person.
This book was a wonderful read
Rating: 5 flowers
Jennifer Robson is the USA Today and #1 Toronto Globe & Mail bestselling author of Somewhere in France. She holds a doctorate in British economic and social history from Saint Antony’s College, University of Oxford, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar and an SSHRC Doctoral FellowHere. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and young children.
Find out more about Jennifer at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.