Hey everyone! Sorry for being quiet recently, life is so full right now. Anyway, no-one cares about that. Let’s review some books!
The very kind people at Harper 360 recently sent me a copy of Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb. Both authors were already on my radar due to their upcoming releases in 2018 (one about the Cottingley fairy case and one about the Phantom of the Opera!! You can be sure I’ll be reading both of those.) So I was delighted to read this collaboration. Before I tell you my thoughts, here’s the blurb:-
August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.
But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…
Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?
Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…
Last Christmas in Paris was a lovely book, written in the epistolary form which made for a nice quick read. I was initially worried that some depth might be lost and that I wouldn’t be able to get a 3D picture of the characters just by reading a series of letters, but I needn’t have feared. Evie and Tom are wonderful characters that really come to life through their correspondence and they took me through a huge spectrum of emotions. They felt like old friends. Their voices are distinct and ring out clearly from the pages, drawing you into their lives and keeping you invested.
I’m really glad I got to read this one as it is such a heart-warming story. Seeing the events unfold and the relationships blossoming made for a lovely reading experience. This is the perfect book for this time of year! Even though it was a little predictable, being about a time in history that is SO famous, it was still very moving. The ending was powerful and brought a tear to my eye, which is not something that happens often!
Overall, this was really well-written and I found myself unable to put it down – but, at the same time, I didn’t want it to end! The writing of both authors formed a seamless blend and I would love to read more collaborations from them in future. For now, I’ll have to content myself with their individual works which I’m sure are equally excellent.
I would recommend Last Christmas in Paris to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or heart-warming festive stories!
Has anyone else read this one? Can anyone recommend any other books written entirely in letters?