II’LL SEE YOU IN PARIS
After losing her fiancé in the Vietnam War, nineteen-year-old Laurel Haley takes a job in England, hoping the distance will mend her shattered heart. Laurel expects the pain might lessen but does not foresee the beguiling man she meets or that they’ll go to Paris, where the city’s magic will take over and alter everything Laurel believes about love.
Thirty years later, Laurel’s daughter Annie is newly engaged and an old question resurfaces: who is Annie’s father and what happened to him? Laurel has always been vague about the details and Annie’s told herself it doesn’t matter. But with her impending marriage, Annie has to know everything. Why won’t Laurel tell her the truth?
The key to unlocking Laurel’s secrets starts with a mysterious book about an infamous woman known as the Duchess of Marlborough. Annie’s quest to understand the Duchess, and therefore her own history, takes her from a charming hamlet in the English countryside, to a decaying estate kept behind barbed wire, and ultimately to Paris where answers will be found at last.
I’ll See You In Paris by Michelle Gable was a treat for the literary pallet. It was full of well-written characters who were complex and deeply complicated. From the leading lady who was or was not a duchess to the young lady who was a nobody, but really was someone who came to care for her. Add on the second layer of the modern day set of characters who were no less complex on convoluted. A mother who said nothing about her past and a young daughter who was determined to discover who she was. The male protagonist in the modern setting was an adorable old codger who had me wondering and suspecting just who he was from the get-go.
The entire story was a delightful puzzle tripping between the 1950’s and 2001. Through skillful use of an obscure biography that Annie, the current time protagonist, has discovered her mother has, and the elder protagonist she runs across in the small hamlet in England who seems to have an interesting number of answers that keep filling in the blanks on the book, the story flows between three time periods, as we discover and follow the many love stories of the Duchess of Marlborough through her life, the love story of Pru and Win as Pru sought to take care of an elderly lady and Win worked to get a biography written on the same lady who he insisted was the Duchess of Marlborough. Finally over all this there was a current day love affair between Annie and a young Alabama marine who was on his way to war in the Middle East as she was in England with her mother.
Michelle took these three, very desperate stories, wound them together and intertwined them into one cohesive story that enthralled all who have read it, including this humble reader.
Michelle even managed to surprise me in the end. She managed to bring thing around and change things around so that the twists added some surprises to the story and gave it some refreshing hiccups. In the end I was delighted with how it all fell in to place. Michelle was fabulous!!! This reader gives her and the story a full FIVE STAR review for both the telling of the story and the depth she gave to the detail and characters with in the tale.
This book was provided to Shade Tree Book Services and Reviews for free in exchange for a fair and honest review of the novel and author’s work. Blogging Under the Shade Tree is not associated with the publisher or the author.
ABOUT MICHELLE GABLE
Michelle Gable is the NY Times bestselling author of A PARIS APARTMENT and I’LL SEE YOU IN PARIS. A College of William & Mary graduate, Gable currently resides in Cardiff by the Sea, California with her husband, two daughters, and one lazy cat.