For the first time in April, I was able to try Book of the Month. Book of the Month is one of those subscription boxes that for a fee, you are allowed to pick one of the 5 book options, skip a month if you want, and add on past books if there are books that you have a lingering interest in. It's a great little subscription box, and helpful when you can't go to a bookstore but prefer physical books compared to kindle reads.
So for April and my very first BOTM pick, I choose The Paris Hours by Alex Geroge. The Paris Hours is a book that takes place in 1920s Paris and tells the stories of 4 characters and takes place over the course of one day in each of their lives.
That's the brief synopses for the book without giving too much away. So, with a book taking place in 1920s Paris, and the ways in which Paris during that time lingers in our history, this book was an easy choice for me. Along those lines, one of the things that I really enjoyed about this book was the descriptions. The descriptions in this book and lush and you can get the feelings of 1920's Paris. That was all that I liked.
The hardest thing about this book was the 4 characters and there 4 storylines. It was hard to remember which character was which. It was hard to keep track of the various character's storylines as they went from the present and into each of their pasts. It was a lot. Plus as the character's stories started interesting, it was very predictable, who was who from each life (even if their names were hard to remember.) The crescendo of all of the character's meeting was dramatic and predictable if not a bit sad at a few points but it was a well written ending with clear beautiful pictures. However, there was one part of the ending that broke my heart.
In the book, one of the characters who is a reporter whose name I can't remember is searching for his long lost daughter. He finds a notebook, which inside of it states how Camille (a maid), and her husband found a baby and named her Marie. Marie is the reporter's long lost daughter, and he would know that if he opens the notebook and reads it. He does not read it...
The fact that he does not read the notebook and does not discover the truth is incredibly heartbreaking and sad. It is what I liked the least in the book.
If I am honest, this is the type of book that you need to read a break book or a wash book in between this and another one. By a break book or a wash book, I mean the type of book that is light, easy and has a nice little happy ending. Something that isn't too taxing on the mind.
Zuhri's Final Thoughts
Star Rating : 3 Stars
Reading Scenario: A couple of nights, reading a couple of chapters a night. With a glass of wine and a notebook to help keep the characters straight.
Book Club Recommendation: Even though, I only gave this book 3 stars, I would recommend this as a book club read. I think it would create a lot of discussion amongst book club members. Maybe even a debate or too!
Coming Up: Beach Read and The Book of Longings.