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review 2018-12-23 23:17
The Lost Carousel of Provence - Juliet Blackwell

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Berkley Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

 

This was such a charming and quaint story!

 

The book started off a bit slow. It took a while for the story to actually take shape and for the historical parts to start making sense (the book has dual storylines, one historical and the other contemporary). But once the main character, Cady, went to France, the story really took off and from there it was magnifique!

 

 

I loved the way the author described France, particularly the small village Cady visited and the chateau she stayed at. From the scenery to the food to the carousel, she made it sound so enchanting and beautiful. I wish I was actually there! 

 

I also loved the little nods to the Bay Area. The author is from the San Francisco Bay Area (like me) and the main character is from Oakland. Anytime Cady would mention something about Oakland, I’d always think to myself, yup that’s so true. 

 

As for the characters, I loved them all, especially Fabrice, the owner of the chateau. He was such a mystery and I enjoyed unraveling his past. 

 

Overall, this is the perfect historical fiction and contemporary read for anyone who wants to spend time in a chateau in the French countryside.

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text 2018-12-23 06:19
Reading progress update: I've read 337 out of 384 pages.
The Lost Carousel of Provence - Juliet Blackwell
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text 2018-12-20 19:24
Reading progress update: I've read 85 out of 384 pages.
The Lost Carousel of Provence - Juliet Blackwell
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review 2018-10-15 07:30
The Lost Carousel of Provence
The Lost Carousel of Provence - Juliet Blackwell

I've always enjoyed Juliet Blackwell's cozy mysteries, so once she started writing these stand-alone, general contemporary fiction stories, all set in France, I've made sure to pick them up.

 

I'm not sure this is going to be helpful to anyone but myself, but - and maybe because I don't read a lot of general fiction - I find these stories kind of weird.  Apparently, I'm a little genre-dependent because I'm never sure what the point of the story is.  I mean, I do; personal journeys, growth, blah, blah, blah, but I'm hard-wired to look for dead bodies, I guess.  Plus, the author uses multiple timelines and POVs in the France books, a device that generally drives me nuts.

 

That's not to say I didn't enjoy the story though; I did.  Blackwell captures France and I enjoyed the 'mystery' behind the carousel figure and the box inside.  I might have liked the secondary characters more than the main character, Cady, but chalk that up to personal tastes, as in, mine don't run towards broken characters.

 

As in the previous 2 stand-alones set in France, the romance is iffy, if non-existent.  This is a good thing; if Blackwell has a weakness, it's writing romance with any sexual spark (except the Witchcraft series, where the romance was very sparky).  There is a love interest here, and characters are getting lucky, but it's mostly an afterthought, with only an implied possibility of a HEA.

 

So, after all that rambling, I'll just say:  it's a good book.  It's a quiet, well-built, interesting story that I enjoyed escaping into for a few hours on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

 

(I feel weird not assigning this to a bingo square.)

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review 2018-09-19 13:13
The Lost Carousel of Provence - Juliet Blackwell

Juliet Blackwell tells the story of Cady, present time, and the 1900’s in France using a dual timeline format.     While it can sometimes get confusing which time you are reading, Juliet does an amazing job keeping the two storylines separate while weaving them together a little bit at a time.   I liked finding out how Gus, the carousel rabbit, Cady, and the Clements would all come together.   I wasn’t surprised at how it all ended up but I did enjoy seeing how it all worked out.  

 

Usually, I find myself connecting to a certain character or a certain storyline but with this one  I was thrilled with the descriptions and the characters of the 1900’s.   I am also curious about wartime living and many of the characters were active in the war efforts.       The present storyline was just as amazing.   The food Cady ate, the towns she visited, the carousels she photographed, and the people she met were alive to me.   I could taste, see, and enjoy all that she did.  

 

I really enjoyed The Lost Carousel of Provence.  I learned about the making of carousels and all the tedious precision work that goes into their making.    There was enough fact that I felt informed but not overwhelmed with facts that I didn’t need or want to know.       Pick up your own copy and travel to Paris, visit the carousels, eat the food, and meet the wonderful characters.  

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