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A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable

A Paris ApartmentA Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fiction/Historical fiction

April Vogt is a furniture expert for an auction house.  She is flown to Paris to help assess the value of the contents of an apartment that has been sealed for seventy years.  The house is packed full of museum-quality pieces of furniture and a previously unknown portrait by Giovanni Boldini. 

This is the perfect time for April to get away.  Her marriage is strained and she thinks that time away will help her sort out her feelings.  As she digs deeper into the story of the woman who owned the apartment, a courtesan named Marthe de Florian,  she finds herself intrigued by the life of this woman who started from nothing and amassed this collection.

This book is based on a true incident described in this Wikipedia article:

Madame Marthe de Florian (Paris, France; 9 September 1864 – France; unknown date) born as Mathilde Héloïse Beaugiron was a little known French actress and demimondaine (courtesan) during the Belle Époque.[1] She was known for having famous lovers including Georges Clemenceau (before becoming the 72nd Prime Minister of France), Pierre Waldeck-Rousseau (the 68th Prime Minister of France), Paul Deschanel (11th President of France), Gaston Doumergue (13th President of France), and the Italian artist Giovanni Boldini. Her story resurfaced when in 2010 her belongings were discovered in a Parisian apartment, untouched for nearly 70 years, like in a time capsule.

Boldini_Marthe_de_Florian

I liked the story of Marthe de Florian but wasn’t as interested in the story of April’s life.  I thought she was pretty whiny especially in the part of her story about her parents.  I tend not to care about anyone’s childhood trauma.  Grow up and move on.

 

Dreaming of France Meme Eiffel

3 Comments

  • Satia

    Okay. April in Paris? I wonder if the author was being intentional in how she named her protagonist.

    This novel sounds like a good read. I’m adding it to my list. Thanks for the review.

  • Louise

    I remember the news stories about finding that apartment, but am not sure that I knew there was now a book based on it- that’s a really clever idea actually, I like the premise of the book. It sounds intriguing enough for me to take a look at it. Sorry to hear that you didn’t like April’s character.

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