Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Original title: Paris: the Epic Novel of the City of Lights
Publisher: eBook | Hardcover | Paperback | Audiobook
Paris : City of love. City of revolution. This thrilling and romantic story opens in La Belle Époque, the golden, hedonistic age of peace and joie de vivre. Moving back and forth in time across centuries, the story unfolds through intimate and vivid tales of self-discovery, divided loyalty, passion, and long-kept secrets both fictional and true, set against the backdrop of the city - from the summit of Montmartre to the gothic towers of Notre Dame to the grand boulevards of Saint-Germain, from the medieval world of saints and scholars to the modern French ideals of liberté, égalité, fraternité.
This book is a big adventure. You get to know Paris way back when it was just 5 streets till the early 1930's. Following a few families that intertwine with one another at some point in all those years.
The most important part is that of Thomas Gascon. He is followed from early childhood growing up in the slums behind Montmartre growing up to be one of Eiffel's protegés building the tower.
In between there are chapters describing 5 other families all cleared out in a family tree at the beginning of the book. I did need that one as some of the names are the same and I sometimes forgot which period I was living in. Still that did not disturb me at all. The whole story just seemed to be right despite the whole time mix up. It is a book that really sets an atmosphere and pulled me in.
Though the life of Thomas is the central part that the story returns to every so many chapters the other lives get a good part too. The anger of the Widow le Sourd really poured out of the pages and the revenge she wanted on the 'The Cygne' family. How those children found one another and how their lives developed. Honestly there is so much happening that it is difficult to describe things without giving to much away. I do feel it is a trick but I still think I want to read Ruhterfurds other books about London and New York and Russia to get lost in those stories.