The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
France in the mid-twentieth century—full of life, art and the spirit of young love. In The Velvet Hours, a young woman name Solange has her heart tugged toward the idea of being a novelist. Her pharmacist father does what he can to help her—introducing her to the fabulous Marthe de Florian, a woman with intriguing stories to tell. A woman who also happens to be her grandmother.
Through Solange's sittings with Marthe to hear the stories of the past, the reader learns not only Marthe's story that includes a love child given away, a stint on the stage, and year spent as a mistress, but also Solange's story, a young woman on the brink of starting her own life when the world gets in the way. Once Solange has heard Marthe's story, the book shifts into telling Solange's story, which is much more unpredictable on the surface, but utterly familiar when it comes to love and family.
What was just as entertaining as the book itself was the information that the author had used to build this story. Just from a few facts written in a newspaper, the author built two lives that seem to jump from the page—an effort that created a fantastic story.
*Received a copy of this book through Penguin First to Read
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