Publication Date: 07 May 2015
Publishers: Hot Key Books
Source: Review Copy
Blurb: Paris, 1871. Four young people will rewrite their destinies. Paris is in revolt. After months of siege at the hands of the Prussians, a wind of change is blowing through the city, bringing with it murmurs of a new revolution. Alone and poverty-stricken, sixteen-year-old Zephyrine is quickly lured in by the ideals of the city's radical new government, and she finds herself swept away by its promises of freedom, hope, equality and rights for women. But she is about to fall in love for a second time, following a fateful encounter with a young violinist. Anatole's passion for his music is soon swiftly matched only by his passion for this fierce and magnificent girl. He comes to believe in Zephyrine's new politics - but his friends are not so sure. Opera-singer Marie and photographer Jules have desires of their own, and the harsh reality of life under the Commune is not quite as enticing for them as it seems to be for Anatole and Zephyrine. And when the violent reality of revolution comes crashing down at all their feet, can they face the danger together - or will they be forced to choose where their hearts really lie?
Thank you to Hot Key Books for sending me this novel in exchange for an honest review.
After finishing A Little In Love, I was still thinking about Paris and how beautiful it was to read a novel set there, so I decided to pick up this book as my next read. I was also totally captivated by that beautiful cover!
Lydia Syson's characters were something I had heard other readers praise after reading her other novels, such as That Burning Summer. So I was disappointed when I didn't feel myself connecting to them as much as I had hoped to. I did like the relationships between the characters in the first half of the novel, but found my interest waning toward the second half.
I shipped Anatole and Jules from the very beginning, I liked both their friendship and found myself wishing they were a couple! I also liked Zephy at times, although I found her somewhat whiny and naive. I really did not like Marie, I thought she was vain, self important and some of her actions toward the end of the novel really annoyed me.
Overall I found the characters sort of bland. A few days after finishing the novel, I found myself struggling to remember the characters and what differentiated them. I thought that Jules was the only somewhat interesting character of the lot.
I found the plot to be boring at times, and very slow paced. Towards the end of the novel, when the pace of the plot suddenly increased, I found the writing to be overly descriptive so that I found myself skimming over long paragraphs of descriptions. The dialogue was fun to read at times but overall I found the style of writing to not be my cup of tea.
I was really sad I didn't like this book as I'd heard great things about Lydia's previous novels, That Burning Summer and A World Between Us, and thought I would like this.
Unfortunately this novel was not my cup of tea but I am going to pass it onto a friend who likes historical fiction.