I don’t know about you but I like a work of fiction, to be set in a big city. I am particularly fond of having London, New York, or Paris as part of the story. I don’t much care what the time period is, in fact, I like to see how the authors interpret these exciting cities in different times. Adria J. Cimino (I hope you read her “profile” yesterday in my posting) lives in Paris and obviously from her writing, “lives and loves” it in her imagination as well. I did a review on her newest endeavor A Perfumer’s Secret in an earlier Books Books Books posting. Having read that I wanted to read all of Adria’s books, starting with Paris, Rue des Martyrs.
Copy from the publisher:
“Some encounters make a difference… Four strangers in Paris. Each one is on a quest: to uncover a family secret, to grasp a new chance at love, to repair mistakes of the past. Four stories entwine, four quests become one, as their paths cross amid the beauty, squalor, animation and desolation of a street in Paris, the rue des Martyrs.
Rafael’s search for his birth mother leads him to love and grim family secrets. Cecile’s view of herself as an unsatisfied housewife is radically changed by the promise of a passionate liaison. Andre, an aging actor, troubled by the arrival of the son he abandoned years ago, must make a choice, to either lose his son forever or put aside pride and seek redemption. Mira travels to Paris to begin a new life and forget about love… or so she intends.”
If you are expecting a love story to Paris and an actual street, Rue des Martyrs (which is, of course, central to the story), you may well be disappointed, although you will love the City (as much as it’s author does) and the role it plays in the four central characters journeys in the book. The book is about its four protagonists. There is, however, a lot of what you expect from a book set in Paris, the cafes, the romance (in lives and with the City) and art.
The story revolves around four total strangers in Paris and you learn each is trying to unravel a family secret, locate new love, undo past mistakes. How the author intertwines these characters is what makes this story “a can’t put down narrative”. I wanted to see what would bring them all together. As the characters search for their individual solutions they mingle with many supporting characters, all of whom bring depth to the story.
I found the reality of each easy to relate to, everyone has their own issues in life and those issues are important to them. All the stories were amazingly believable and you become involved in how these fascinating individuals will end their quests.
I really enjoyed the book and I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did. I give it 4 stars.