Tuesday 6 September 2011

Review - 13, rue Thérèse by Elena Mauli Shapiro

I was delighted to be given a copy of this book to review for newbooksmag. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but this one really did appeal to me , and I wasn't disappointed once I opened the book ...

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

jaffa's rating 4paws - he'd love to learn French, and has been practising purring in a French accent !

A small box filled with the keepsakes of a past life is the premise for this beautifully narrated book which is based on the author’s own interpretation of a discovered box of treasured mementos. This quirky story has been weaved around a lost world of love letters, photographs and keepsakes, and collectively offers a whole new story perspective.

When American academic Trevor Stratton is given the box of relics by his colleague, Josianne Noireau, we are introduced to the life of Louise Brunet, a young Frenchwoman who lost her first love during WW1, and who now lives a vicarious life in post war Paris. The story is dotted throughout with illustrations, and small snippets of intimate information, which together form a story filled with romanticism, and visual appeal.

I loved the way the book was presented, from the French chapter headings, to the availability of QR codes for my Smartphone, all help to make this a deliciously different story, which at times feels like you are reading a very personal memoir.

My feeling is that this book will appeal to readers who enjoy interactive narratives, and who are searching for something “ just a little bit different".


  1. I hovered over this on Amazon Vine recently but then I thought I was only attracted by the title which was rather egocentric on my part! I think you've persuaded me to go for it. :-)

  2. Hi treez - I think this would appeal to you - and unlike me you would understand the French chapter headings without having to go to google translate !!! LOL
    My copy could very easily find it's way to you - let me know !

  3. Oh I loved this book. It was so different in presentation that it had me mesmerized front the first chapter. I could feel Trevor falling more and more under the spell of Louise until he became immersed as a part of her life and I almost fell with him. The different time perspectives were rather clever and now that I've finished this book I somehow feel a bit haunted by it. How strange.

    1. Hi Alison, thanks for taking the time to comment on this book. Glad you enjoyed it- I thought it was a great read. The cover is fabulous !


Thanks for taking the time to comment - Jaffareadstoo appreciates your interest.