An online marketing consultant, an avid reader of 400 + books a year. Professional reader, reviewer, and blogger. Enjoy ARCs and new releases.
Inspired by a grandmother’s time in Paris, Eleanor Brown(Weird Sisters) eloquently transports readers in THE LIGHT OF PARIS -two generations of women-being true to oneself, a journey of self-discovery. Grabbing life and joy. Freedom.Having the heart and courage to be who we really are.
The audiobook, narrated by Cassanda Campbell (one of my favorite narrators), delivered an award-winning performance, a perfect voice for three generations of women. From food, art, culture, gardens, creativity, writing, romance, travel—ah, Paris, Awe-inspiring!
Two stories separated by time and space —1999, when Madeleine, a thirty-something, drifting, unhappily married Chicago woman, visits her aging, perfectionist mother in their small Southern hometown.
She discovers in an attic, the journals of her (secretive life) grandmother, Margie, who spent time in 1924 Paris Jazz Age-a world of freedom, art, and love- which changed her life. What happened to this life, the dreams, aspirations?
This is the life, Madeleine longs for. She never knew this grandmother. Madeleine and Maggie are very similar in many ways. Both generations have demands from family and told to put dreams aside. Obligations. They both did the same—things they swore they would not do. Learning from the past.
Present day: Madeline is miserable in her life. A controlling mother, who has pushed society, marriage, outward appearances, and traditions. Never a thought to one’s own desires.
Following in the steps of her mother, in a loveless marriage to Phillip-she finally has enough with her controlling husband. She never should have married him. She loves to paint and wants to explore things which she has put aside, to be someone else. Someone else’s expectations. Does she have to courage to do the unexpected?
Leaving her husband, she returns to her Southern hometown. She has to endure more critical negativity from her demanding mother. Her mother is appalled. No one divorced.
However, a light of hope. She discovers an old trunk in her mom’s attic, and is surprised by a grandmother’s secret past.
Her grandmother, Margie spent time in Paris, writing, a man, an artist, creativity, the dreams. Where did it all go wrong? Why was she not told about her grandmother’s past? How did her own mother come to be the way she is today?
Reading her grandmother’s journals was like reading her own thoughts. She wanted to connect with her and felt something was unfinished. She couldn’t explain why she never felt like she belonged. Could she possibly finish the life for her grandmother? Going abroad by herself signified a bravery she had not considered she possessed.
Can Madeline find her own way? Away from social pedigrees? To dance, eat, travel, laugh, and paint. The what if? Closing your eyes and taking a step off a cliff. Risk versus security.
The promise of Paris and a future to own. Surrounded by people, food, art, friends, community. The possibilities. The unknown.
Thought-provoking: How do choices we make reverberate through generations? How are we influenced by those outside forces? Are children pawns in an endless chess game? Raised with expectations. Why do some siblings break free; while others continue along the same path as previous generations? Giving up happiness.
Carving out a space, a niche -finding the things that are important in life, rather than things forced upon us--from demands, duty, responsibility, money, family and society. Trying to live up to something others want. Expectations. Reality. Can you live your dream?
"A mother’s words, were a grandmother’s legacy of disappointment. The best a granddaughter can do is live in a way to possibly break the cycle."
A beautifully written story about the expectations people have for one another. In the process one woman discovers a critical bit of information about her own mother, changing everything she knew about her own mother-daughter relationship.
From Parisian delights, you will be ravenous rushing out for a French baguette, brie, wine Crème brûlée, and fresh berries, while booking a flight to Paris!