Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Paris by Edward Rutherfurd

An epic novel that did not disappoint.  The book spans multiple generations and jumps back and forth between them, but with a few common families and family relationships to tie it all together.  The characters include aristocrats, artists, department store owners and a brothel owner. It's hard to summarize a book that spans over 600 years, and has so many characters, but I did enjoy it.

Thomas & Luc Gascon.  Thomas was an ironworker who helped build the Eiffel Tower.  His brother Luc ran a bar and restaurant but was also part of the seedier sides of Paris.

Blanchards - Marc was a artist but despite his parents objections.  His parents own a department store in Paris that his sister Marie and her daughter Claire end up running.  He gets a girl pregnant but his parents quickly make "the problem" disappear

Frederic Ney is an affluent lawyer who also boards a number of widows in his spacious home. He has a staff of people who take care of them - Edith and her Aunt Adeline are the main ones.  

Roland de Cygne and Jacques Le Sourd a rivalry that has continued for generations, growing stronger with each year.

Louise - grows up in England but comes to Paris looking for her roots, and becomes quite well-known in certain circles.

World War I and II are large parts of the story naturally.  I know that Rutherfurd does his research and most of the historical parts are accurate, but there was one aspect to the story that I liked but I'm not sure if it's true.  When the Germans occupied France and Hitler first came to Paris he wanted to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower but couldn't - as the elevator cables had been cut to prevent him going up.

An enjoyable read which really made me feel I was in Paris and want to go back. It also made me want to give his book about New York another try.  

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