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A Week in Paris Paperback – 9 Oct 2014

4.4 out of 5 stars 270 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK; Paperback Original edition (9 Oct. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471130762
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471130762
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (270 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 58,319 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The Paris of both ages is beautifully drawn and the women's stories are skilfully interwoven, resulting in a richly emotional story, suspenseful and romantic, but unflinching in its portrayal of the dreadful reality and legacy of war. --Deirdre O'Brien, Sunday Mirror

About the Author

Rachel Hore worked in London publishing for many years before moving with her family to Norwich, where she teaches publishing and creative writing at the University of East Anglia. She is married to the writer D. J. Taylor and they have three sons. Her previous novels are The Dream House, The Memory Garden, The Glass Painter's Daughter, which was shortlisted for the 2010 Romantic Novel of the Year award, A Place of Secrets, which was picked by Richard and Judy for their book club, A Gathering Storm, which was shortlisted for the RONA Historical Novel of the Year 2012 and the latest bestseller, The Silent Tide.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By C. Bannister TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 10 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Rachel Hore has produced another complex and historically accurate tale set in the iconic capital city of France where just the mention of the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile gives the readers a visual hook for the rest of this turbulent tale of a young woman facing seemingly insurmountable situations purely by virtue of the time and place she is living in.

Fay is an accomplished violinist who first travels to Paris during her teens and despite her mother, Kitty’s reservations, she relents and lets her daughter go. While there Fay has a frightening incidence of deja vue which disturbs her because she knows she has never visited France before.

Years later her mother’s sadness over the death of Fay’s father at times appear to overwhelm her and this is only compounded now that Fay has left home and is on the verge of travelling to Paris once again, this time as a second violinist in an orchestra for a week long event. With her early life shrouded in mystery Fay is shocked when she is given the task of visiting the convent where her mother had stayed when she was a pupil at the conservatoire in Paris and she seizes the opportunity to find out more about her mother and her own childhood.

With most of the story set in Paris, in 1961 and earlier during World War II Rachel Hore has written an intertwined tale, Fay’s ‘present’ is narrated by herself as she begins to trace her mother’s footsteps while Kitty’s story is told mainly through the eyes of an old friend Nathalie which brings to life the reality of living in Paris during the troubled years of the war years.
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I have read all Rachel Hore's previous books which are great and looked forward to this one having pre ordered it. Sorry but it left me feeling that Rachel had run out of ideas. The two characters were very similar in the two time periods and sometimes I had to check which one I was reading about.
The book gets better half way through but not Rachel's best effort. Try some of her other novels instead.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Just when you think what else could possibly be written about World War Two along comes Rachel Hore with her new novel A Week in Paris. A fascinating, gripping, intriguing tale that kept me turning the pages as quick as possible keen to discover the mystery surrounding Kitty and Fay. Rachel Hore is amongst one of my favourite authors and having read all her previous releases I have been waiting impatiently for her new book and thankfully after such high expectations Rachel once again delivers another stunning unputdownable novel. There is something for everyone here romance, mystery, history and a strong plotline that will keep fans happy but will also create plenty of new readers for Rachel.

A Week in Paris opens with a brief glimpse of a five year old girl in an orphanage in Norfolk, England. Who is she and why is she there? Next we meet the main characters Kitty and Fay Knox. Fay is a teenager on a school trip to Paris when in Notre Dame Cathedral she experiences an uneasy feeling that leaves her shaken. She feels she has been here before but as far as she knows she has never previously travelled to Paris. What is going on and why does Fay feel her mother – Kitty, has not told her the truth about her past? Fast forward a number of years to England, Kitty now a music teacher goes about her daily life having raised Fay on her own after the death of her father Eugene in wartime Paris. Kitty has tried her best to raise Fay supplementing her income giving piano lessons. But Kitty hides a deep, dark secret that if exposed will turn the Knox’s entire world upside down.

Unable to cope with the years of pressure and secrecy Kitty has a nervous breakdown and is placed in a home in an attempt to overcome her issues.
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I am feeling rather guilty for having never, until now, read anything by Rachel Hore. Perhaps I was put off by her books being recommended by Good Housekeeping, or by the fact that she teaches creative writing. I don't know why it was but I guessed she might churn out Mills & Boon type slush. How wrong I was.

This is an extraordinarily well-written novel (despite its author's day job). It tells of the search by Fay Knox, a talented young violinist, for the truth of her first five years of life. Her mother, Kitty, an accomplished pianist, has always told her that she spent the war years living in Richmond, London and that her father, a doctor, was killed in an air raid. She has never doubted that account. But then something odd happens on a school trip to Paris in 1957. Fay has never been abroad before, or so she thinks, and yet, while visiting Notre Dame, she has a strange experience. She thinks she has been to Paris before. But how could that be?

Four years later, as a member of a London orchestra, she returns to Paris to play in several concerts. Before she leaves, her mother tells her to look in a trunk in the cottage in Norfolk where she lived from the age of five. She finds a small rucksack. Inside there is a label. On one side the words "Fay Knox, Southampton" were written. On the other was an address: "Couvent Ste-Cecile, Paris". She determines to find out what it means.

I must not say too much about what Fay discovers. Suffice it to say that it is an astounding story of love, courage and hardship in occupied Paris during the war. But have things really changed that much? Fay's week in Paris is marred by scenes of police brutality towards Algerians who are seeking independence for their country.
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