The latest Goodreads giveaway that this pedometer geek read was Ella Carey’s Paris Time Capsule. It is the debut novel of the author, and it was originally published as an indie novel in 2014 before being published by the current publisher, Lake Union Publishing, this year. Although received as a giveaway, that in no way affected this extended review.
Paris Time Capsule
by Ella Carey
Published by Lake Union Publishing, 2015
Catherine Jordan (Cat for short), a photographer who lives in New York, receives a mysterious package in the mail as the novel opens. The return address, written in fading sepia ink, is an address in Paris, France. Opening the package she discovers a typed letter and an old brass key. Thus begins a mystery that she must solve as to why she is inheriting the estate of a person with whom she is unfamiliar. This event turns her world upside down as she immediately travels to Paris.
Her boyfriend Christian, a young, handsome businessman, suggests she deal with the situation simply. Just accept it as it is, move on, and then return to their life together; however, balancing both the estate and her boyfriend isn’t easy, especially when she meets Loic Archer, the grandson of the woman whose estate she is to inherit.
All Cat wants to do is give the estate to the rightful owner, to the nearest relative of Isabelle de Florian, the woman who owned the apartment and its contents. This apartment has been closed up for seventy years, seemingly abandoned. Up until the lawyer, Monsieur LaPointe, contacts the family, neither Loic nor his family are aware of its existence, nor do they know anything about it, however.
This starts Cat, as well as Loic, on a quest to figure out what the connection between herself and the woman who left the apartment so many years earlier. She wants to find out why she has inherited; who the woman really was; and the mysterious circumstances of her disappearance from Paris. Moreover, why did she never tell her own family about the apartment or change the will over the years? Finding the answers makes for compelling reading about the times and people of this apartment.
Yet, in the background, is Christian, who wishes to marry Cat. He wants her back in New York with him, planning their wedding. In the end, ultimately Cat must choose what she wants for herself and what she is willing to let go. This novel is not only an insight into the history of the time from the late 1890s to 1940s, but it is also a romance.
While this is a fictional novel, it is based on the actual event of a recently discovered apartment once owned by a famous demimondaine (a courtesan) called Marthe de Florian of the Belle Époque period. Found within was a painting of Marthe de Florian, which was found to have been painted by Boldini, who was known as the master of swish.
Recently, this pedometer geek happened to read Michelle Gable’s A Paris Apartment; it, too, covered similar material as Paris Time Capsule, but Gable’s novel was totally different in style and approached the tale from the point of view of the apartment’s history and its inhabitants. For those who enjoy Paris, this time period, some of the same characters, and other similarities, they may enjoy reading both.
This reader not only enjoyed both authors’ stories about Marthe de Florian and her apartment, but also looks forward to the next novel in Carey’s Time Capsule series.
In July, 2015, on my other blog site, http://www.nbsmithblog.wordpress.com, the following blog was posted: Paris? A new What-the-tuck trend?