Customer Reviews


18 Reviews
5 star:    (0)
4 star:
 (7)
3 star:
 (5)
2 star:
 (5)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly Surprised
If a book can take you through a process of discovery, Ms Shapiro's '13 rue Thérèse' comes as close as any I have read. Fluid in its form, lucid in its conception, tender in its spirit, this book says much about its author's feelings for the past and its resonance in the present. With the instincts (and imagination) of a good historian, Elena Mauli Shapiro...
Published on 16 Feb 2011 by Otherkin

versus
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Did not live up to expectations
This book is a bit of an odd mix, some bits I liked, others not so much. It starts with a box of letters, photographs and other mementos belonging to a woman called Louise Brunet who lived in Paris in the first part of the twentieth century. The box is being investigated by an American professor visiting Paris in the present day, so you have a story within a story. He...
Published on 29 Mar 2011 by Kate


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

4.0 out of 5 stars A little bit different..., 24 Oct 2011
By 
jaffareadstoo (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: 13 Rue Thérèse (Paperback)
A small box filled with the keepsakes of a past life is the premise for this beautifully narrated book which is based on the author's own interpretation of a discovered box of treasured mementos. This quirky story has been weaved around a lost world of love letters, photographs and keepsakes, and collectively offers a whole new story perspective.
When American academic Trevor Stratton is given the box of relics by his colleague, Josianne Noireau, we are introduced to the life of Louise Brunet, a young Frenchwoman who lost her first love during WW1, and who now lives a vicarious life in post war Paris. The story is dotted throughout with illustrations, and small snippets of intimate information, which together form a story filled with romanticism, and visual appeal.

I loved the way the book was presented, from the French chapter headings, to the availability of QR codes for my Smartphone, all help to make this a deliciously different story, which at times feels like you are reading a very personal memoir.

My feeling is that this book will appeal to readers who enjoy interactive narratives, and who are searching for something " just a little bit different ".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars An imaginative story, 24 April 2011
By 
Nikki-ann - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: 13 Rue Thérèse (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Having read a great review of this book on a blog and then it appearing in my Amazon Vine list, I decided to snap it up and give it a go. I loved the premise of Louise's life in a box. The pictures, the postcards and letters, the personal possessions... Somebody coming across these so many years later and imagining the life of their former owner.

The pictures, postcards, letters and personal possessions are actually pictured in the book throughout the story. I loved seeing these and the only thing better would to have had the box itself! I love family history and so to me rooting through a box like that and imagining that person's life would be wonderful.

The author actually lived in the apartment below the real-life Louise Brunet's apartment and she ended up with a box of Louise's possessions when her neighbour died and no relatives came to collect them. The items captured her imagination and gave way to this intriguing story.

13 rue Therese is a story of history, love and mystery and a little bit of magic, all set in the city of love itself - Paris. There are a couple of sex scenes in the book (though with some added humour), but nothing too explicit.

There isn't a clear, straight timeline throughout the book, with chapters bouncing back and forth between times every now and then, but I found it easy enough to follow.

One thing I did notice about the book was that a few of the pages had a little fleur-de-ys in the bottom corner. The page numbers don't all match between my uncorrected proof copy and the website, but a visit to the book's website will give you more detail and in some cases, an audio track or video too.

The story did take on a slightly different slant towards the end and it's one on which I can't quite make up my mind, but it didn't take away too much from that fact that I quite enjoyed this imaginative book. It's different and one that will possibly divide the opinion of its readers.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Confusing at first, but settles into a thoughtful read, 20 April 2011
By 
M. K. Burton - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 13 Rue Thérèse (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Trevor Stratton finds a peculiar box in his office one day; naturally, he can hardly resist opening it, though he has no idea where it has come from. Inside he finds the memorabilia of the life of Louise Brunet, a Frenchwoman who lived much of her life stifled by a boring marriage and the staid affairs of a housewife. But Louise is innately passionate, having loved her young cousin, a soldier killed in World War I, and later developing illicit feelings for her neighbor. As Trevor unravels Louise's story, he finds that one of his own is just beginning.

This was quite an odd book to start out with. Much of the beginning is actually written in second person and I can't recall the last time I read a book that had such a strong component written like that. I must confess it threw me and I wasn't sure I would like it, simply because it was so confusing. I wanted to have concrete facts, not have this peculiar vagueness. Lucky for me, and for the book, it all settles after the first quarter of the book or so. I figured out who all of the characters were and understood what the book was trying to do. After that, I enjoyed it a lot more. The book is composed of several different types of writing, between normal prose, letters, and the second person explorations of what's inside the box.

One of my very favourite aspects of this book was the way that Trevor crafts Louise's story from her memorabilia. I don't know about you, but I do sometimes think about what I keep and what it says about me; this story is that writ large, an attempt to derive a woman's life simply from the objects and letters she kept over the course of her life. There are pictures of all of the objects and I had a lot of fun puzzling over the photographs and examining each object in detail. It's certainly fun for those of us who hoard to think that someday, someone might make something of all of those little treasures.

Another very appealing part of the book is Louise's story itself. It's impossible not to feel for her, even in contemplating adultery, because she is a vibrant person. I felt as though she'd been cheated by life, robbed of her love, and then had much of her spirit taken out of her. But she still leaps off the page with her strong character. I had the feeling that if life had treated her a little differently, she could have been a wonderful woman.

13, Rue Therese is an imaginative look back at the life of a Frenchwoman who survived much of nineteenth century history. Though confusing at first, it swiftly resolves and becomes a pleasant story of discovery and passion. Recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Spare me the time travel, 18 April 2011
By 
Mrs. R. "Polymath" (London, England, UK.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 13 Rue Thérèse (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
If I want a fantasy novel, I'll get one that says so on the cover. And I don't. Or if I did, I'd want it to be firmly grounded in fantasy, not just slightly bonkers. I shan't give the game away but while I was interested in the story - the research into the mysterious box of photographs and ephemera - I found the twist in the tale surplus to requirement.
It's a bit like reading a Marjory Allingham book, assuming that it's going to be a detective story, then finding out that it's a ghost story. All a bit dissapointing. But where Allingham was writing her ghost stories in the 1930s and 40s - when they were still a popular genre - suddenly hopping into unreality in the 2010s feels as if someone has walked into the room and switched channels just when you were getting interested in a TV programme.
Maybe I'm growing stuffy in my old age, but the lust and adultery helped me to dump the small amount of sympathy I'd developed for the characters. At the start I found it interesting in an "is it real or is it not?" way, then it jumped into being not real and it lost me. Despite its attempts to throw me off I did keep reading until the end because it's intriguing enough. And if I'd been running that university department I'd have fired the story teller.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it, 7 April 2011
By 
Laura Smith (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 13 Rue Thérèse (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This is an odd book. The way it's written, the different narrators - the fact that it is a made up story based around some real artifacts - it is a great idea and I enjoyed it. At times I felt a little lost, I must admit, but I soon found my way again!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Maybe trying a bit too hard?, 22 Mar 2011
By 
Penny Waugh "A reader" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: 13 Rue Thérèse (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was taken with the description of this novel and I really wanted to like it, and certainly I enjoyed the first half, with the puzzle of the box and its contents (and the added interest that the items had actually come into the possession of the author) and the early story of Louise, her love for her cousin, lost in WW1, and eventual marriage to a man who bored her enough to make her tell lies in the confessional out of sheer mischief, was appealing. The Great War parts were fascinating and I liked the various photos and photos of artifacts scattered through the book, but eventually the jumping from one period to another became wearying, and the intrusion of the narrator, obviously making the story up as he went along to the extent of involving himself in it, came to irritate rather than enthrall me. Louise's love affair with another man was understandable in her circumstances, but Trevor, the narrator's, sketchy present day love affair seemed hardly necessary and his increasingly feverish involvement with a pseudo past lost me.
I had no difficulty in finishing this book but I suppose I hoped for more than I got out of it. A puzzle book, certainly, but it did make me wonder at the end if it was worth it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2.0 out of 5 stars Confusing, 15 Mar 2011
By 
Cath B - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: 13 Rue Thérèse (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I was intrigued by the title and blurb about this book, but soon tired of it. The premise is good - a box of objects used to piece together a past and the recipient of the box being drawn into the story, but I just found it confusing and ultimately did not know exactly what the author was trying to achieve and was unsure about the connection between past and present. Ultimately, I found it to be a disappointing read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Box Of Tired Tricks, 31 Jan 2011
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: 13 Rue Thérèse (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Elena Mauli Shapiro is at pains to explain that this story
came about (she tells us this on her eponymous website)
though the discovery of a box of ephemera, mementoes,
photographs and letters contained in a box which belonged
to an old lady living in the same appartment block in which
Ms Shapiro resided in as a young girl in Paris. It came
into her famiy's hands after the lady's death and we are
led to believe that she has been looking after it ever since,
waiting for the right moment to extricate a tale from its musty,
faded and crumbling contents. '13 Rue Therese' is that tale.

When the author sat down to write her book she doubtless
harboured good intentions. As she unrolled the blueprint -
the graphic map - of her imaginings, (this is how I picture
its conception) on the table-top before her, her mission to
tantalise, mystify and intrigue gives way to a blundering and
highly formulaic style which irritates far more than it beguiles.
Ms Shapiro is playing games and I quickly lost patience with the
episodic and fragmented nature of her narrative.

Piecing together and believing her subject's biography
requires a leap of faith on the part of the reader. As the
story jumps backwards and forwards in time we are continuously
aware of the author's part in the (re)invention of Mme Brunet's
history. The clumsy development, however, does not allow us
to sufficiently engage with her characters in a sympathetic way.

The book is indeed a box of tricks but it is a sine qua non for every
would-be conjuror to ensure that their subterfuge is well-concealed.

There may be some truth in the telling but Ms Shapiro failed to move me.

At Your Own Risk.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

13 Rue Thérèse
13 Rue Thérèse by Elena Mauli Shapiro (Hardcover - 14 April 2011)
£8.59
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews