Publisher: Flatiron Books / Macmillan Audio
Release Date: May 05, 2020
Genre: Adult Fiction / Historical Fiction
One day in the City of Lights. One night in search of lost time.
Paris between the wars teems with artists, writers, and musicians, a glittering crucible of genius. But amidst the dazzling creativity of the city’s most famous citizens, four regular people are each searching for something they’ve lost.
Camille was the maid of Marcel Proust, and she has a secret: when she was asked to burn her employer’s notebooks, she saved one for herself. Now she is desperate to find it before her betrayal is revealed. Souren, an Armenian refugee, performs puppet shows for children that are nothing like the fairy tales they expect. Lovesick artist Guillaume is down on his luck and running from a debt he cannot repay–but when Gertrude Stein walks into his studio, he wonders if this is the day everything could change. And Jean-Paul is a journalist who tells other people’s stories, because his own is too painful to tell. When the quartet’s paths finally cross in an unforgettable climax, each discovers if they will find what they are looking for.
Told over the course of a single day in 1927, The Paris Hours takes four ordinary people whose stories, told together, are as extraordinary as the glorious city they inhabit.
I love, love, LOVED The Paris Hours by Alex George! This was my first time reading a book by this author, but I am definitely going to have to read his backlist now. The prose was wonderful, and the book was so moving.
I listened to the entirety of the book on audio and while at times it could be a little confusing without having a physical copy, overall I really enjoyed it this way. The narrator, Raphael Corkhill, did a remarkable job especially considering how many characters he had to voice. There are a ton of different viewpoints in The Paris Hours which is why not having the book was a little hard. If you are going to listen to the audio I would highly recommend having a physical copy you can look at as well. There are a lot of names, and during the last, big, chapter when everything is coming together it was harder for me to follow on audio alone.
Although there were a lot of characters, I found myself drawn to each and every one of them along with their stories. There is just something about George’s writing that really spoke to my soul and I can’t even begin to explain how much I truly loved this novel. The chapters were mostly very short as well which I think made the book speed by even faster, but I never wanted it to end. It broke my heart, but at the same time was inspiring and made me laugh at times.
The very end of the book wrecked me even more than the rest of it, and this does not tie everything up in a neat little bow, but it does give you hope. I think it would make a great buddy read or book club book as there is definitely a lot to talk about here. The Paris Hours also had mentions of many famous people I was familiar with, and some that I was not. I did a lot of Googling names and I feel like I learned quite a bit as well. In my eyes this was a masterpiece, and I will definitely be purchasing myself a copy to have on my shelf!
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / 5