Tessaro dazzles the senses in this novel about a reluctant British socialite who receives a mysterious inheritance from an unknown Frenchwoman in 1950s Europe. Tessaro’s flashback-layered narrative concerns the mildly cliched Grace Munroe, a London housewife yearning for a sense of purpose, and Eva d’Orsey, an older Frenchwoman “living between memory and regret."... Predictably, Tessaro cycles between narratives....but [n]uanced observations soften the blow of the contrived banter [and] familiar form.
A compelling plot in a truly magical Parisian setting, fascinating information about the way perfume is made, and great secondary characters make this a charming read. Tessaro does a marvelous job of conveying the atmosphere of a fairytale trip to 1950s Paris by a woman who finds herself, and romance, in the City of Light. Readers of the works of Emily Giffin and Laura Florand will enjoy. —Elizabeth Mellett, Brookline P.L., MA
A bewitching, compelling novel, full of dark desires, long-buried secrets, revisited memories, and new opportunities.
Grace Munroe, a young woman in London in 1955, receives a letter from Paris informing her that a woman she has never heard of has just died and left her an apartment and an investment portfolio.... The story then moves back in time and...from continent to continent and...reveals the sometimes-tragic, sometimes-exhilarating life journey of Eva D'Orsey.... Eva's story, told from her perspective, is interspersed with her story as told by Madame Zed to Grace Munroe, who has followed a clue to the old perfume shop. A colorful, stimulating journey through time.
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