05 April 2011

13, Rue Therese, Book Review

As my eager fingers reaches out for a new title in a book shoppe, I often hear Granny say "Souviens toi, ne juge pas un livre par la couverture!" (Remember, do not judge a book by its cover!). But I cannot always resist! Visuality is very appealing, particularly for the appetite!
And when I first heard of 13, Rue Therese and actually saw the website I simply found its appeal irresistible!
The cover, format and the photos included (see here) have such a lovely fresh approach I just could not resist it. Reading the following notes form the Author just hooked me:

'When I was a little girl growing up in Paris in the early eighties, an old woman who lived a few floors up from my apartment died alone. Her name was Louise Brunet. None of her remaining relatives came to fetch her belongings, so the landlord had to clear them all out. He let the other tenants in the building scavenge through her stuff and take home silverware, jewelry, whatever they wanted. My mother salvaged a small box filled with mementos: old love letters from WWI, mesh church gloves, dried flowers, a rosary—many objects worth nothing but memories. This box is the sepulcher of Louise Brunet’s heart. As I have carried it through life and across the world, I have always intended to write a book out of it. '

In this, her first novel, Elena Mauli Shapiro tells us the story of an American Professor who finds in his Parisian office a mysterious box containing old letters, faded photos, gloves, rosary, brooch and even a silk scarf...
As the story progresses these items will help the reader to unravel the compelling but mysterious puzzle of Louise Brunet's life through two World Wars, leading us and the soon smitten Professor, into her very intimate world of love, passion, regrets and countless memories.

You cannot but feel drawn in the story due to its novelty approach of course. I will add it is a sensual experience in itself discovering Louise's thoughts and actions through Trevor Stratton, the Professor and his increasing attraction to his lovely secretary, Josianne another protagonist in this story.

There are some instances of deep emotional rawness in Shapiro's description of Louise and Trevor Stratton's imaginations which might not make it acceptable by everyone.
However this well written narrative can only be experienced through the intensity of Louise's feelings as the author described it, sometime sad, sometime hopeful and at times even naughty.

As a first novel and with such an intriguing story Elena Mauli Shapiro's 13, Rue Therese is bound to captivate many readers!

I give it 4 stars.

I received this book free from Hachette Book Group as part of their Blogger Review program. I was not asked to write a positive review and the opinions expressed are entirely my own.

I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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