Sunday, 18 April 2021

Book Review - A Postcard From Paris by Alex Brown - Blog Tour

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Title: A Postcard From Paris
Author: Alex Brown
Format reviewed: Ebook
Source: Netgalley
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 15th April 2021
Rating: 5 Stars

Annie Lovell is keen to put the spark back into her life and when her elderly neighbour inherits an abandoned Parisian apartment she goes to Paris to discover more. Her curiosity takes an unexpected turn on discovering a bundle of secret diaries hidden within the walls, detailing the life of a young English woman, Beatrice Crawford, who volunteered in 1916 to nurse the soldiers in the fields of France.
Captivated by the romantic City of Light, Annie realises first appearances are not always as they seem. Following Beatrice’s journey from the Great War, through the Roaring Twenties and to a very different life in Nazi-occupied Paris, Annie must piece together the events from the past, if she is to fulfil the legacy that Beatrice left for her to find…

Given I'm not a fan of history, based on the blurb I was to be honest reluctantly intending to pass this book by, despite being by one of my favourite authors, as I really wasn't sure I would enjoy it. but then I was invited onto the blog tour and the publicist must have caught me in a daring mood, as skipping an Alex Brown book never fully sat right with me, and so I agreed to read and review. 

What I can say instantly is that I am so thankful Jen Harlow gave me the opportunity to be a part of this tour, as the book is totally amazing, and there was plenty to keep my interest and have me hooked. 

Although initially the first chapter I would have perhaps been set in the present day, it did give us a wonderful introduction to Beatrice Crawford, who the more we get to know her throughout the book, the more impressive this lady becomes. 

She was living in France, and then more importantly Paris itself during both World Wars, and we get glimpses of her life from 1916, through the roaring twenties, and into mid 40s,  where well I can't tell you, but just wow.  

Beatrice though has left her apartment to Joanie, who is Annie's neighbour and friend, but no one knows why, so Annie goes to Paris to find out about this inheritance for Joanie, and in doing so alters the course of her own life too. 

Annie's daughter Phoebe initially was against the trip and a few of their early exchanges had me rolling my eyes and laughing out loud at just how Phoebe was trying to portray her mother.  Annie also on her first night in Paris, makes 2 new friends and they become a fabulous trio who are all invested in trying to discover the truth about this apartment. 

A lot of Beatrice's story is told within various diary entries, drip fed to the reader as and when needed, and what was evident to me is just how much research Alex Brown must have done to make these diary entries as authentic as they seemed. Even though I'm clearly more of a fan of present day plots, I was fascinated by the life Beatrice was living in wartime France, and found myself with great admiration for the woman. 

Oh and I was also happy to see how Tindledale fitted into the story, the village from some of the authors previous books, that I've always enjoyed! 

I didn't guess the outcomes on any of the mysteries, and I feel as though I definitely learnt things too. 

What this has said to me, is don't judge a book by its blurb, always trust a favourite author will have your back and tell you a story that you want to hear, and that this is one seriously impressive book.  I should never have had doubts in the first place, but I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read this book, its so well written and really did capture my attention from early on, and found it was compelling to read as normal. 

Thank you to Jennifer Harlow at Harper Collins for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily,. 

Please do follow along with the rest of the blogs on this tour, for more about this fabulous book

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