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A Paris Apartment

A Paris Apartment

Geschrieben von Michelle Gable

Erzählt von Erin Moon und Saskia Maarleveld


A Paris Apartment

Geschrieben von Michelle Gable

Erzählt von Erin Moon und Saskia Maarleveld

Bewertungen:
4/5 (9 Bewertungen)
Länge:
16 Stunden
Freigegeben:
Jan 1, 2014
ISBN:
9781490618906
Format:
Hörbuch

Beschreibung

Where Moulin Rouge meets The Paris Wife lies THE PARIS APARTMENT, a rich and colorful work by debut author Michelle Gable. When her boss tells her about the discoveries in a cramped, decrepit apartment in the ninth arrondissement, Sotheby' s continental furniture specialist April Vaught does not hear "dust" or "rats" or "shuttered for seventy years". She hears Paris. She hears escape. She cannot board the plane fast enough.



When she arrives, April quickly learns the apartment is more than just some rich hoarder' s repository. Beneath the dust and cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a literal goldmine and not just in terms of actual dollars. First, there' s a portrait painted by one of the masters of the Belle Epoque. Then there are letters and diaries and a thousand indications the woman who lived there was more than a renowned courtesan with enviable dEcolletage. Suddenly it' s no longer about the bureau plats and Louis-style armchairs that will fetch millions at auction. It' s about a life. Two lives, actually.


With the help of a salty Parisian solicitor and hundreds of private documents, April tries to uncover the secrets buried in the apartment. As she digs her fingers into one woman' s life, April can' t help but take a deeper look into her own. When two things she left bubbling back in the states begin to boil over, the problems she thought she had suddenly look quaint, more ancient than the shuttered flat. April starts to wonder if in this apartment, in this life, she' ll ever find what she' s looking for.
Freigegeben:
Jan 1, 2014
ISBN:
9781490618906
Format:
Hörbuch


Über den Autor

New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment, MICHELLE GABLE graduated from The College of William & Mary. When not dreaming up fiction on the sly, she currently resides in Cardiff by the Sea, California, with her husband, two daughters, and one lazy cat.

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3.8
9 Bewertungen / 12 Rezensionen
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  • (3/5)
    A fun, quick read, perfect for an airplane or beach read. I give the author credit for not going in the direction I thought she was heading (clues seemed to point to a family connection; it would have been beyond belief). There was a lot of discussion about how the protagonist kept "forgetting to eat" and then would almost binge on pastries....hmmm, not really necessary, nor admirable, perhaps an attempt to explain why "French women don't get fat"???
    If you like antiques and a dose of historical fiction you will love this book. The ending was a bit too pat and rushed for me, but it was not outrageous.
    The author mentions an article being the inspiration for the novel - it would have been nice for her to have included a reference - for credit as well as for readers own interest.
  • (3/5)
    This book was chosen for our next read by one of the Beijing Bookclub. I enjoyed reading about the life of a Demimondaine in Paris during the Belle Epoque, and about Victor Hugo's family and about the artist Giovanni Boldini. The book was obviously influenced by the discovery in 2010 of the apartment of Marte de XXX, which had been sealed shut 70 yrs previously. Her story is twinned with the story of an American auction specialist who has had a difficult childhood. To be honest I thought that the modern 'twist' was unnecessary . The sections about the American woman were too long and too convoluted. I am not a fan of 'chick-lit' or Romance fiction and this book borders on both genres.
  • (3/5)
    Enjoyed the novel's different timelines, especially the historical one. April's story, current timeline, was not all that interesting, felt like I've read that story so many times. I wish April had been a stronger person. Book did keep my interest thru to end but frankly was glad when I reached the last page. Decent first novel, can anticipate author improving with subsequent books.
  • (3/5)
    Didn't finish, just couldn't get into it, but I will try again because I have another of the same author and I know she is an enjoyable read.
  • (3/5)
    I'd been following news articles about an apartment in Paris that had been discovered only after the rent stopped being paid. When the doors to the residence were opened, it was learned that these rooms had been untouched for seventy years-- and were a veritable treasure trove of antiques and ephemera (like the dozens and dozens of calling cards that the author used to put together a sort of cast of characters for this book). When I learned that Michelle Gable had written a book using this very same apartment at its heart, I couldn't wait to read it.The segments describing many of the items found in the apartment sparkled and made me feel as though I were present at some wonderful archaeological discovery. Equally strong was the story line involving the courtesan who owned the apartment and wrote the letters and journals found by the appraiser. Marthe de Florian is a fully fleshed figure, one that a reader can empathize with and even condemn on occasion. The story line that really didn't hold up its end was the modern one of April Vogt. She's pursued by a Parisian lawyer while doing her best to avoid her husband, who once cheated on her. Granted, there's not much new and exciting in a tale like that, but I didn't mind it. What I did mind was April's character. She has every appearance of traveling through her life with blinders on... as though she believes there's only one side to every story. Her willful blindness soon began to annoy me, which meant that I took respite in Marthe de Florian's story. And how wonderful it is that there's so much more to this book than April!
  • (4/5)
    Formulaic and hopelessly modernized version of a 1800's journal. Yet, a captivating and romantic tale. I couldn't stay away until the end. A perfect beach read.
  • (4/5)
    A chick-lit treat! I enjoyed every minute. Loved the well-done historical fiction, exploring the women's perspective on the Belle Epoch , Paris in the late 1800s. The readers are fantastic, the story is engaging and complex enough to pique curiosity, but not heavy or plodding. Just good, not-too-sweet reading candy.
  • (5/5)
    When I read this delightful book, I was utterly mesmerized, because it is based on a true story that came to light in 2010 about a 9th-arrondissement apartment had been sealed for seven decades.Abandoned in 1942 on the eve of the Nazi occupation and frozen in time, Marthe de Florian’s apartment overflowed with treasures from the Belle Époque era. The dusty stash included high-end furniture, a classic Mickey Mouse stuffed animal, and an unknown painting of the mistress painted by the most renowned portraitist of the 19th century — Giovanni Boldini. The canvas ultimately sold for a record-high for the artist.The story so captured Michelle Gable that she spent several years researching and writing a fictionalized account of Marthe de Florian, a demimondaine, which was a unique class of fashionable woman supported by one or more wealthy male patrons.In A Paris Apartment, Michelle Gable deftly weaves two stories, one of a contemporary Sotheby’s furniture specialist, and the other of a Belle Époque beauty and demimondaine. Stylish and sophisticated, it’s a story of complex relationships, romance, and history.
  • (4/5)
    Paris in the late 1800's during the Belle Epoque, antique furniture and paintings, and journals from an apartment's original inhabitant. All of these things made A PARIS APARTMENT a book that will keep you glued to the pages.Who wouldn't want to go to Paris? April was an art history major and an auctioneer. When her boss told her she would be going to Paris to put value on an apartment's contents that had been closed up for 70 years, she couldn't pass up the chance even though her marriage was a bit rocky.When April found the journals of Marthe de Florian, they made the apartment’s contents even more valuable and the book quite enticing. The journals told about Marthe de Florian's life and her connection and relationships with artists and other famous people.Famous people such as Victor Hugo and Giovanni Boldini were part of the book's intrigue. Marthe de Florian had quite a colorful life. A PARIS APARTMENT was a bit rough getting started, but once the journals were found, they and the Parisian atmosphere drew you into the era and its living style.A PARIS APARTMENT is based on a real apartment and a real person. Ms. Gable did a great deal of research and weaves the story so masterfully that you don't even know it is history, but it definitely revealed a wonderful hidden part of Paris.For a debut novel, the writing and storyline were marvelous. A PARIS APARTMENT has beautiful, descriptive writing, and the journals made it oh so good. April’s rocky marriage seemed to be a side story, but the apartment, its contents, and the journals are historical aspects that I thoroughly enjoyed and what kept me reading. The ending was marvelous as April met an eighty-seven-year-old family member of Marthe de Florian who fills in the gaps of Marthe’s life. ENJOY, and don't give up too early. :) 4/5This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.
  • (3/5)
    The true story …

    In 1942, just before the onset of WWII, Madame De Florian closed and locked the door to her apartment in Paris and fled to the south of France. Although all expenses and upkeep were paid, the apartment was never rented and Madame De Florian never returned to it. Almost seventy years later Madame died at the ripe old age of 91 and the existence of the apartment was discovered. As the auctioneer tasked with taking inventory of the contents opened the door he realized that he had just opened the door to a time capsule. Covered in dust and untouched for 70 years were priceless antiques, untold treasures and some items of pure whimsy.

    From a newspaper account of the discovery … “Under a thick film of grime, investigators found themselves transported to early 1900s Paris during the height of the Belle Epoque, when the city was celebrating its cultural renaissance and de Florian's grandmother was the talk of the town. Books and newspapers lined the shelves, gold curtains draped the windows, and a luxurious dressing table held hairbrushes, perfumes, and candle stubs that seemed to await the return of a very glamorous noblewoman. Against floral wallpaper and wainscoting, a stuffed ostrich draped with a shawl stood above two pre-war stuffed animals—a very retro-looking Mickey Mouse and Porky the Pig. The formal dining room, with a low-hanging chandelier over the table, wood stove, and stone sink, was still fully stocked with glassware and pots and pans.

    It was, one of the inventorying experts said, like “stumbling into the castle of Sleeping Beauty.”

    By far the most extraordinary find was an unknown painting by Giovanni Boldini, which through letters and correspondence, was proven to be a portrait of Madame De Florian’s grandmother, a prominent Parisian les demimondaines.

    The actual location of the apartment was never made public and more information has not been forthcoming.

    The book …

    This is the taking off point for Ms. Gable’s novel. April Vogt works as a continental furniture specialist and because she speaks French is dispatched, on behalf of Sotheby’s, to catalogue the contents of the apartment. She has no idea what she is about to step into. To everyone else it looks like an episode of Hoarders covered in dust and while workers drag items out to be sold as a lot at auction April discovers a hidden cache of letters and diaries. She is quickly immersed in the life of the enigmatic les demimondaines who once inhabited this apartment and takes the reader with her to late 19th Century Paris. As April learns more and more about the apartment’s former inhabitant she comes to realize that every piece in the apartment has a story and a history that make it unique … and very valuable.

    I found the original story about the apartment fascinating and would most definitely read a non-fiction account of this discovery; Ms. Gable’s novel serves as the next best thing. She obviously did her research and has written an interesting work of fiction based on actual fact. It was the apartment that captivated me. I was less enthralled with April’s struggling marriage and possible love affair, or as a matter of fact with most of the characters, but they were the white bread that carried the caviar, so I had to take the good with the bad.
  • (3/5)
    I can’t remember when I’ve been this confused by a book. It started out clear; it was a story of two women, from two different times, one from the past and one from present day. April, the woman of present day, was assigned the task of preparing an abandoned apartment in Paris for auction. In the process she ran across the journal of the woman from the past, Marthe. April is conflicted; her husband has just admitted a marital transgression. She herself has befriended a fascinating Frenchman. Marthe is a courtesan, and the apartment filled with many riches was hers. Things went along swimmingly for some time and then both Marthe and April do inexplicable things, things that seem random. The entire last section seemed very confused, with all the characters doing inexplicable things, perhaps simply to tie up the loose ends of the story. This was not an ARC, sadly; it was a fully published book, taken from the shelves of my public library. Was there an editor? Do authors not receive any editing help these days? Do publishers just think people will buy any old thing with a lovely cover and a good start? Did the publisher really read the novel to the end? Very disappointed.
  • (3/5)
    I received a free copy of the finished book through a blog win at France Book ToursOften when I read these two story line novels, especially ones containing a story from the past entwined with a contemporary story, I find one story gets in the way of the other and I get confused in the muddle. If you can decipher the proceeding sentence then maybe you have a chance with this book.It is not that I didn't like either story. I found both interesting. The contemporary story concerned April Vogt, a furniture expert assigned to assess the value of objects found in a "time capsule"--a Paris apartment locked up and untouched since the 1940s. April has some problems, including a difficult marriage, which complicate an extended stay in Paris.The historic story involves Marthe de Florian a courtesan of Belle Époque Paris, who owned the contents of the apartment. A fascinating woman who had several lovers and admirers including the painter Giovanni Boldini. Gable's book presents a fictionalized account of Marthe as recorded in a series of diary entries. How much of this story is based on fact and how much on the author's imagination is unclear, but it really doesn't matter. It's a good story and it introduces a lot of interesting characters some of which are historical persons. (This stimulated a lot of fun Googling on my part.)My problem was the way the two stories were connected. The presentation of April's reading of the diary entries at times seems out of sequence and choppy. At times I felt that it would have been better as two completely separate novels. I had to read the last few chapters a couple of times to make sure I got the story straight.But it was a fun read. In the modern story the Frenchman Luc's stereotypical attitudes about Americans will amuse Americans, especially ones who have traveled or lived abroad.