ARC Review: The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson

Hello lovely persons of the internet,

It’s been a pretty long time, since I’ve written anything. I could say it was because I’ve been extremely busy and stuffs, but honestly, I’ve been in a bit of a book slump. My reading pace slowed down to the point that it was kind of shocking. Nevertheless, I am recovering from this slump and I’m glad to be writing book reviews again. Now onward!

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Release date: November 18th 2014

Blurb:

Maud Heighton came to Lafond’s famous Academie to paint, and to flee the constraints of her small English town. It took all her courage to escape, but Paris eats money. While her fellow students enjoy the dazzling joys of the Belle epoque, Maud slips into poverty. Quietly starving, and dreading another cold Paris winter, Maud takes a job as companion to young, beautiful Sylvie Morel. But Sylvie has a secret: an addiction to opium. As Maud is drawn into the Morels’ world of elegant luxury, their secrets become hers. Before the New Year arrives, a greater deception will plunge her into the darkness that waits beneath this glittering city of light.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I’d like to bring to your attention that the cover, is indeed, pretty. The woman in a pretty dress? Nope, it’s all about the stunning Parisian landscape.

The Paris Winter is quite a engrossing, fascinating read with lyrical descriptions of Paris, a strong plot, slow but not too slow pacing, and great female characters. Great female characters, from a female author (such a rarity), who contrast each other in the best way. They aren’t stupid, vapid, or cliche, which is simply fantastic. Maud is the epitome of the starving artist representing the hardships of trying to make it as a woman to their male counterparts.  Also, I absolutely loved the setting of Paris during the Belle Epoque, she describes it so whimsically it’s impossible not to fall in love.

The second part is where the pacing picks up quite a bit and becomes surprisingly dark and twisted after an unexpected twist. The relationships between Maud, Tanya, and Yvette deepened and were conveyed so well. They actually talk to each other about not-boys. I think after reading crappy YA fiction, my expectations for female characters are sadly, much lower.

The notes of art history and paintings at the end of each section, though, was really lovely and clever. Its inclusion is explained at the end. I’ve always loved art, history, and museums, which might also be a reason why I enjoyed this book so much. The prose, oh the prose. It’s evocative, moving, and so wonderful. It drew me in from the very beginning, one of the hallmarks of any good fiction.

The Paris Winter is the perfect blend of historical fiction, art, mystery, and thriller. I highly recommend if you’re looking a semi-short historical fiction read.

More reviews to come!

-Selina