Julien Azoulay is famous around the world for his beautiful romance novels. But last year, he stopped believing in love. When his beloved wife Hélène died, leaving him alone to raise his young son, Julien lost his faith in the happier side of life – and with it his ability to write.
But Hélène was clever. Before she died, she made Julien promise to write her one letter for each year of her life . . . and now, in this moment, in the most famous cemetery in Paris, Julien stands with his painful first letter in his hand. Here, even though Julien wouldn’t believe it, something wonderful is going to happen . . .
Come with us down the narrow streets, past the cosy red bistro on Rue Gabrielle, all the way to Montmartre cemetery with its beautiful stone angels, and discover the truth we all hope to find: that love is real, that miracles can happen and – most of all – that it’s never too late to rediscover your dreams.
Any romance set in Paris and I’m on it! I adore reading about Paris and what better place to set a romance. The book is a beautiful and heartwarming, a little sad at the start but quickly turns into a compelling and wonderful story and I savoured every minute of it. I lapped up the beautiful, rich and evocative descriptions of the streets and boulevards of Paris and mouthwatering cuisine. The author captures the atmosphere, sites and smells of Paris so well and I could almost imagine I was there.
In the beginning the novel is a little melancholic, Julien Azoulay loses his wife, Hélène, to cancer and on her death bed she asks him to write her thirty-three letters and assures him that by the time he’s written the last letter his life will have irrevocably changed for the better. This drew me in completely, I wanted to find out the significance of the letters and if indeed Julien’s life would turnaround. After Hélène dies Julien has a hard time coming to terms with her death, his life is lonely and he eventually finds a way to deal with this by pouring all his thoughts and feelings into writing the first of these letters. He continues to write letters and eventually this opens up a whole new chapter in his life and of rediscovering the love he thought he would never find again.
The characters are all wonderful and depicted so well and in particular I adored Sophie’s character, she’s confident and quirky and with her overalls and hair tucked inside a cap a little bit different from the norm. Arthur is a great little character and for a child still at nursery says some quite grown up and notable things to his grieving dad.
I really enjoyed the writing style which is descriptive but easy to read. The plot is really intriguing and had me completely engrossed until the end. I did have an inkling of how the ending would pan out but this just urged me to finish it to find out if I was on the right track. This is a wonderful, heartwarming and uplifting book without being too over-emotional. A quick and light read which is well written and with such beautiful descriptions of Paris you will want to pack your bags and go.
Publisher: Little Brown Book Group UK – Piatkus
Publication Date: 9 February 2021
Page Count: 207
Thank you to the publisher via Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊