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Article first published as Book Review: The Woman From Paris by Santa Montefiore on Blogcritics.
In The Woman from Paris by Santa Montefiore, we meet a young woman as she encounters members of the deceased’s family for the first time, during the reading of the will. In a place out of time, she finds there is something that draws her, making her want to connect in any way she can. They do not know her, and yet they open their arms, enfolding her in their grief and healing.
But she is a woman with a secret, a story that could tear apart the very foundations she has begun to build. Her own pain is beginning to lighten, and love seems to be available from an unexpected source. Yet what will happen when they find out the darkness of the truth she is hiding.
Invited into their circle she becomes as one of the family, but she knows that her house of cards could over balance at any time, tossing her into a maelstrom of heartache. Having survived one of the greatest tragedies of her young life, she is on the cusp of regaining what she had thought gone forever.
Greed and jealousy though are never far away, and just as it seems that she can finally trust her new family with the truth, blackmail sets the stage, slamming the door on everything she has gained. Cast adrift, she no longer knows where to go or what to do. Those that have severed the ties, feel the angst and heartache as well, suddenly something is missing, a glow, a simple feeling of living. Without the woman from Paris, life is bleak and drab. Can they learn to forgive and begin again?
Montefiore has given us a beautiful story of joy and heartache. The characters move through each of the facets of grief, including the anger. Phaedra, the young woman from Paris, is caught up in a series of events that create a divide, one that is carefully supported. If even one rope slips, she will lose the tenuous control she has gained. Each of the family is depicted in stark contrast, the good, the bad and the exceptional. The interaction drags you in, and the feeling holds you there. You feel both the joy and pain felt, when the truth becomes known.
The joy she infuses in her work shines throughout, a message of hope and love, of being open to change. Forgiveness and love come in strange packages, and we are treated to a wonderful rendition of courage.
If you enjoy contemporary novels, romance, and all the things that go with it, you will want to add this treasure to your library. It is a feel good story, full of exuberance and passion and threaded with hope. Score another winner for Santa Montefiore, this is an exceptional find.
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The Woman from Paris Book Summary:
When Lord Frampton dies in a skiing accident, a beautiful young woman named Phaedra appears at his funeral, claiming to be the Lord’s illegitimate daughter. In his will, Lord Frampton has left her the priceless Frampton suite of sapphires, confirming her claim and outraging his three adult sons and widow, Antoinette. Eventually, however, Phaedra’s sweet nature thaws the frosty relationships. She becomes the daughter that Antoinette never had and a wise and compassionate granddaughter to the formidable Dowager Lady Frampton. But an undeniable attraction grows between Phaedra and Frampton’s eldest son, David. It seems an impossible love—blocked by the fury of one family member determined to expose Phaedra as a fraud. Featuring the enchanting characters, scenery, and emotional complexity her fans adore, The Woman from Paris is a sweeping, sophisticated romance about family, forgiveness, and the surprising strength of love.
Santa Montefiore's Bio:
Santa Montefiore is the internationally bestselling author of several novels, including The French Gardener and The Last Voyage of the Valentina. She lives in London with her husband, historian Simon Sebag-Montefiore, and their two children.
Prices/Formats: $25.00 hardcover, $11.99 ebook
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release: February 5, 2013
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