The Girl from Paris by Ella Carey
Vianne rushes through the crowded streets of Paris as the German bombs begin to fall. As she rounds the corner she sees the familiar spires of the old church burst into flames. Too late, she realizes that her mother and sister are trapped inside…
Paris, 1918. The end of war is in sight, and young seamstress Vianne Mercier is longing for the day when she can stop sewing military uniforms and start creating the beautiful dresses that she has been dreaming up in her head.
But just when it seems like peace is within reach, Vianne’s mother and sister are killed in a terrible air raid. To make matters worse, Vianne’s brother has returned home a changed man. Controlling and cruel, he presents Vianne with an ultimatum; give up her dreams of becoming a designer, or be forced onto the streets, penniless and alone.
With nothing left for her in Paris but sad memories, she decides to sail for New York. Determined not to look back, she throws herself into her new life—spending her days sewing dresses for wealthy Upper East Side women, and her evenings dancing the Charleston to Duke Ellington in the new downtown clubs. When Vianne meets handsome Italian Giorgio Conti, he encourages her career, and she feels safe for the first time since she lost her family.
Then news of a terrible accident compels Vianne to suddenly return to France, where she discovers proof of a wartime secret that changes everything she thought she knew about her family. Facing the threat of sickness and ruin, the people who forced Vianne out of her home now suddenly need her help.
Will Vianne find the courage to follow her heart, return to New York and her life with Giorgio? Or will duty bind her to the family she had left behind and force her to remain in France?
From Amazon Charts bestseller Ella Carey comes an utterly gripping and emotional historical wartime novel about the terrible choices people made during humanity’s darkest days. Fans of Fiona Valpy, Rhys Bowen and The Nightingale will adore this novel.
Having enjoyed other novels by Ella Carey, I was looking forward to being back in her take on historical Paris, and I wasn’t disappointed. I took to Vianne straight away. I felt the love of her parents, the sadness at her loss and the hurt when she is left to fend for herself. The pain and trauma of the First World War haunting her memories of a happy childhood in Paris. It is her determination and ambition to design beautiful dresses that drives her forward, and I felt the excitement, following her journey from Paris to New York, where life is full of new promises for new beginnings.
Pushing her grief to a hidden place inside, Vianne embraces all New York has to offer, the hard work and new friendships, as well as the temptations. However, her past in Paris is not quite what she thinks it is and once we got a first taste of the mystery unfolding, I devoured the pages to discover the truth. Family secrets, no matter how many miles divide, have a habit of coming back.
Vianne was one of those characters who I really wanted to do well, to overcome the odds stacked against her and become a success in the world of couture. I loved the descriptions of the cut and flow of the gowns, the beading and the sequins, and reading this book, I felt the 1920’s fashion era come to life.
This book will take you from Paris to New York and the Highlands of Scotland, with some unexpected twists and mysteries to be unravelled. The more you read, the more the surprise names turn up.
Despite the traumas this book has a beautiful message and is a must read for those who have a thing for the 1920’s, fashion, romance and family dramas. It’s another great read from Ella Carey.
Ella Carey is the USA Today and Amazon charts bestselling author of eight novels of historical fiction, including the Secrets of Paris Series, published with Hachette imprint, Bookouture. Ella’s novels have reached over one million readers and have been translated into fourteen languages. Ella has recently signed a six book deal in Germany and a nine book deal in Denmark. Ella’s latest novels are A New York Secret, and The Lost Girl of Berlin, both published with Bookouture in 2021. The Girl from Paris is the third novel in this new series, and will publish in January, 2022. Ella has a music degree in classical piano, and an arts degree majoring in English and history. Her novels have been shortlisted for ARRA awards.