Showing posts with label Paris. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Paris. Show all posts

Sunday, 14 July 2019

Where do you go to: The rags to riches tale inspired by the epic Peter Sarstedt song by Jean Cerfontaine

I picked this book for two reasons. A I thought it was an interesting idea to base a book on a song lyric. B. One of the locations mentioned in the song is Juan les pins. As this is only a few miles from here I wanted to read what the author had to say about my area. We get a nice snapshot of 1950's and 60's Europe and some well known names like Picasso and Yves Montand are woven into the story. I gave it 4 stars as it is hard to emphasise with a character who's life is just so fabulous.

Basing a book on a well-known Peter Sarstedt song was an interesting idea. Time and time you are reminded of the song when Marie-Claire does something or goes somewhere. It builds a familiarity with the character that we wouldn’t otherwise have. After troubled and murky beginnings the young orphan Marie-Claire is adopted by the Le Blancs and starts a new life. And what a charmed life it is. Growing up in the plush surroundings of the French embassy of Rome and then Athens and Moscow, Marie-Claire takes to her new life like a duck to water. As we see her blossom into a young talented woman the action moves to Paris and we get a taste of the early sixties and how the rich and famous lived. The story gets a little repetitive as Marie-Claire’s life seems to be an endless string of parties and holidays. Her past is the intriguing part that hangs over the story like a dark cloud, and although it is resolved in an original way, I think the writer could have done more with it. Well written and a nice snapshot of 50’s and 60’s Europe.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

A Paris short

After reading two sizable ebooks I took a breather and tackled this short story;
Rendevous, Place saint-Michel By Felipe Adan Lerma

This is a short story about an American (Texan) Grand-father who takes his grandchildren for a walk one night along the streets of Paris. His grandson wants to photograph Paris at night and his two cousins come along for the excitement. What I liked about the story is the author’s description of Paris by night, and the rather sweet story of his granddaughter experiencing her first kiss.

The author describes this book as a short stand-alone story, but it also forms part of another book; Slumming it in Paris. I might have agreed if it was altered a little. We’re introduced to a bewildering seven characters but only four take parts in the story. The language the Author uses might be common in Texas but I found words such as ‘Kinda’ and ‘gonna’ sat uncomfortably with more poetic language like ‘Her eyes caressed a smile.’ I think this makes a much better chapter than a short story.
I give it 3 stars.