Sometimes a book comes along that surprises you in the best possible way. Bonus points if the twists and turns encountered by the characters are as surprising for the reader as for the characters. This is the case with Kelly Bowen’s new book Parisian apartment. Set in two very different time periods, the story follows incredible women doing incredible things in the face of great adversity.
When Aurelia Leclaire – Lia for short – inherits her grandmother’s apartment, she is actually inheriting a mystery that spans decades. Lia finds out that her grandmother Estelle had a life she never knew and it’s up to Lia and art restorer Gabriel Seymour to follow the clues to determine how her grandmother came into possession of her. priceless works of art that have been locked away for years and years.
Kelly bowen Parisian apartment is equal parts plot, drama and adventure. Through it all, however, there is no doubt that the dark overtones that eclipse the stories from both periods. For Lia, the idea that her grandmother could be a Nazi sympathizer is devastating. For Estelle, seeing her friends dragged into the middle of the night is more than she can bear, and while she is safe (or as safe as anyone could be in busy Paris), she is not. can’t sit idly by and try to help.
The Paris apartment is exciting and hauntingly beautiful
Bowen spent a lot of time researching the stories of incredible women who fought alongside their male counterparts in WWII, acting as spies and trying to keep people safe while trying to stay off the Nazis’ radar. .
When Estelle begins to work with a true allied spy to learn Nazi secrets, she puts everything in danger. Equally fascinating is Lia and Gabriel’s story as they discover they have connections they never imagined.
Bowen develops his characters so well, using their personal stories to support their reasoning for their actions. Lia never knew her grandmother other than as distant and somewhat cold, and yet she was a heroine who managed to keep all of this a secret to her family.
As a history student, I found the book to be incredibly compelling. It’s the kind of story you can’t let go, and I don’t mean that like a cliché. Lia and Estelle’s stories keep you invested and in truth, I spent an entire evening devouring the book because I needed to know what happened next.
It’s important to note that, as with all stories set during the chaos and devastation of WWII, the occupation of Paris, and the Holocaust, some stories are difficult to read. As much as you want things to end well, they often don’t by the very nature of circumstances. Bowen balances grief and tragedy with small victories that help his characters move forward in the face of such unspeakable horror, and the story is so much stronger for that.
As we move deeper into the 21st century, we lose the last of the people who lived through WWII. Parisian apartment connects the present with the past in the most unexpected way, and it’s a powerful reminder that we must never forget the brave women and men who did extraordinary things when called upon to act and do the right thing thing, whatever the risk.
Parisian apartment is available now.