|Simon & Schuster|
The story of love, loss and wartime memories are nicely portrayed in this historical narrative which tells the story of Fay Knox and her mother Kitty, both of whom have long buried memories of Paris. Kitty was a naive young woman when she went to Paris in the 1940s to study music, whilst there she met and fell in love with Eugene Knox, a young American doctor and together they made a life with their baby daughter, Fay. Twenty years later, Fay appears to have some shadowy memories of Paris but her mother has never been willing to explain anything to her about her early years. Returning to Paris in 1961, Fay attempts to uncover some of her mother’s long buried secrets, with surprising results.
What then follows is a nicely written historical dual time story which takes the reader between two very different time frames and between two very different young women whose lives have been irrevocably changed by the events of the Second World War.
The starkness and imminent danger of occupied Paris is particularly well done. I enjoyed the way the story conjured up the atmosphere of living during a time of great unrest and it is obvious that the author has researched the period well and writes with some authority. The 1960s time frame had a charm all of its own and I enjoyed seeing Fay blossom from a rather naive ingénue, into a more confident and assured young woman. The overwhelming theme of the novel is about memory and the ties that bind us together and that fact that shared memories also have the power to both hurt us and protect us.
Whilst I don’t think this is the strongest of Rachel Hore’s books, I did enjoy the story and am sure that most of her fans will enjoy it too.