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review 2020-06-03 13:09
The Light of Paris
The Light of Paris - Eleanor Brown

by Eleanor Brown


This is a story of two women, each of whom discover Paris in their own way. We first meet Madeleine in 1999. She is drawn to art and loves to paint, but her family circumstances place her as a corporate wife to the sort of very controlling husband who makes a woman dream of being single and free to wear what she wants, eat what she wants, and spend her time painting instead of schmoozing with the wives of business contacts with whom she has nothing in common.


Madeleine finds her grandmother's diary and reads about Margie in Jazz age Paris, 1916. Margie lives in a time and culture where young women debut when they reach marriageable age and expect to find a well-to-do husband and have children. But Margie is having none of it, she wants to be a writer and live a Bohemian lifestyle. Her first encounter with a man her parents approve of, what might be called a rich wastrel, gives her a push in the direction of an unconventional life ahead.


I was struck by the writing in this and how eloquently the personalities involved were portrayed, from Madeleine herself down to the peripheral characters. Each of them came alive in just a few paragraphs of lyrical prose and made their indelible stamp on the story.


Madeleine and her grandmother had much in common. Both were born into 'society' families that had expectations of how young women thought and behaved, both had artistic urges that made then want to break out of the molds created for them and both were given the chance to sample what life might be like if they rebelled against the 'expectations' thrust upon them.


I could appreciate how difficult it was for each of them to break loose from the training of their lives, of family expectations and all that they knew to try to enjoy something of life beyond the prescribed formula for their social strata. More interesting still was experiencing Paris through the eyes of Margie, the grandmother, and wondering if she would find a way to maintain her newly discovered freedom.


The book kept me interested and wanting to know the fate of each of the women and what choices they would make for their lives, given the limitations thrust upon them. The end didn't disappoint, though I would have liked to see how Madeleine fared in Paris.

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text 2017-07-12 21:01
Exciting July Releases That Are On My TBR
A Paris All Your Own: Bestselling Women Writers on the City of Light - Eleanor Brown
A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England) - Roseanna M. White
The Diplomat's Daughter: A Novel - Karin Tanabe
Where the Light Falls: A Novel of the French Revolution - Owen Pataki,Allison Pataki
Seducing Abby Rhodes - J.D. Mason
Edward VII: The Prince of Wales and the Women He Loved - Catharine Arnold
The One I've Waited For (The Crystal Series) - Mary B. Morrison
The Cartel 7: Illuminati: Roundtable of Bosses - Ashley and JaQuavis,JaQuavis Coleman
The Truth We Bury: A Novel - Barbara Taylor Sissel

I finished only one book in June. I was quite shocked. I've started many and am hopeful that July will be a better month for reading. I've been out of sorts personally and physically. However, this list of books are right up my street and I'm sure are going to be awesome reads. I'm revisiting favorite authors and genres.

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review 2016-09-05 05:05
Conformity, Freedom and Everything Between
The Light of Paris - Eleanor Brown

Imagine how our lives would have turned out if we hadn’t been afraid. I loved Sebastian, and Henry these men both sexy, and alive with dreams and happiness. The women, three generations, all suffering from making choices based on fear and peoples judgement. Finally one of them has broken the pattern and becoming who she could be.

This a multiple generational story about love, adventure, obligations, control, sacrifice, broken dreams, conformity and finally happiness. Freedom, has it’s price, and a good life is worth it.

I struggled in the beginning, almost dropping it early on. It was depressing, with a sad character, but then it started changing. The message is good, the stories are lovely and full of lessons on living.

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text 2016-09-04 03:11
Reading progress update: I've read 40%.
The Light of Paris - Eleanor Brown

I hated it, I semi hated it, I really hated the wimpy MC, hated the abuse, loved the narrator, wanted to quit, was going to quit but...I'm addicted to the story now, and I'm not sure why. It's dull and fascinating at the same time, infuriating and heart wrenching. I don't think I like the story but I need to know what happens to them. This is way outside my type of reading. So I'll keep it going for a little while longer 

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review 2016-07-14 20:23
The Light of Paris
The Light of Paris - Eleanor Brown
Narrator:  Cassandra Campbell 
Publisher: PENGUIN Audio 
Publication Date:  7/12/2016
Format:  Audio
My Rating:  4 Stars


Inspired by a grandmother’s time in Paris, Eleanor Brown(Weird Sisters) eloquently transports readers in THE LIGHT OF PARIS -two generations of women-being true to oneself, a journey of self-discovery. Grabbing life and joy. Freedom.Having the heart and courage to be who we really are.

The audiobook, narrated by Cassanda Campbell (one of my favorite narrators), delivered an award-winning performance, a perfect voice for three generations of women. From food, art, culture, gardens, creativity, writing, romance, travel—ah, Paris, Awe-inspiring!

Two stories separated by time and space —1999, when Madeleine, a thirty-something, drifting, unhappily married Chicago woman, visits her aging, perfectionist mother in their small Southern hometown.

She discovers in an attic, the journals of her (secretive life) grandmother, Margie, who spent time in 1924 Paris Jazz Age-a world of freedom, art, and love- which changed her life. What happened to this life, the dreams, aspirations?

This is the life, Madeleine longs for. She never knew this grandmother. Madeleine and Maggie are very similar in many ways. Both generations have demands from family and told to put dreams aside. Obligations. They both did the same—things they swore they would not do. Learning from the past.

Present day: Madeline is miserable in her life. A controlling mother, who has pushed society, marriage, outward appearances, and traditions. Never a thought to one’s own desires.

Following in the steps of her mother, in a loveless marriage to Phillip-she finally has enough with her controlling husband. She never should have married him. She loves to paint and wants to explore things which she has put aside, to be someone else. Someone else’s expectations. Does she have to courage to do the unexpected?

Leaving her husband, she returns to her Southern hometown. She has to endure more critical negativity from her demanding mother. Her mother is appalled. No one divorced.


However, a light of hope. She discovers an old trunk in her mom’s attic, and is surprised by a grandmother’s secret past.

Her grandmother, Margie spent time in Paris, writing, a man, an artist, creativity, the dreams. Where did it all go wrong? Why was she not told about her grandmother’s past? How did her own mother come to be the way she is today?

Reading her grandmother’s journals was like reading her own thoughts. She wanted to connect with her and felt something was unfinished. She couldn’t explain why she never felt like she belonged. Could she possibly finish the life for her grandmother? Going abroad by herself signified a bravery she had not considered she possessed.

Can Madeline find her own way? Away from social pedigrees? To dance, eat, travel, laugh, and paint. The what if? Closing your eyes and taking a step off a cliff. Risk versus security.

The promise of Paris and a future to own. Surrounded by people, food, art, friends, community. The possibilities. The unknown.

Thought-provoking: How do choices we make reverberate through generations? How are we influenced by those outside forces? Are children pawns in an endless chess game? Raised with expectations. Why do some siblings break free; while others continue along the same path as previous generations? Giving up happiness.

Carving out a space, a niche -finding the things that are important in life, rather than things forced upon us--from demands, duty, responsibility, money, family and society. Trying to live up to something others want. Expectations. Reality. Can you live your dream?

"A mother’s words, were a grandmother’s legacy of disappointment. The best a granddaughter can do is live in a way to possibly break the cycle."

A beautifully written story about the expectations people have for one another. In the process one woman discovers a critical bit of information about her own mother, changing everything she knew about her own mother-daughter relationship.

From Parisian delights, you will be ravenous rushing out for a French baguette, brie, wine Crème brûlée, and fresh berries, while booking a flight to Paris!

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!The-Light-of-Paris/cmoa/5763700a0cf23063aa8fe510
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