3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Did not live up to expectations,
This review is from: 13 Rue Thérèse (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
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 weaves a tale around the objects in the box to create the life of the woman who owned it.
I liked this idea but at the start the story jiggled about between present and past in no particular order which I found confusing. The timeline did settle down after a while and some structure to Louise's life began to emerge. But after a while the professor drifted away from the clues given in the box and Louise's life became totally fictional and at times a bit bizarre. There was some blurring of time between past and present as the professor seemed to merge with the characters he was writing about. Sometimes even adding alternative actions to the story and introducing fictional documents that were labelled 'not in the record' which seemed to defeat the object of the exercise of using the box in the first place. I felt that there were too many ideas running through the book so it didn't really know which way to go. I quite liked the character of Louise even though her behaviour at times was a bit odd and if the book had stuck to her story all the way through I would have enjoyed it more.
I did wonder what the real owner of the box would have made of her fictional counterpart.