|Random House UK|
La Belle Époque in France is a time of great change and for Guillerme du Frere, the chance to travel to Paris is an opportunity not to be missed. At the renowned Patisserie Clermont in Paris, Guillerme discovers not just the sensational art of confectionery, but also falls in forbidden love with Jeanne Clermont, the confectioner's daughter. Eighty years later, PhD student, Petra Stevenson is determined to protect the good name of her recently deceased grandfather, from a biographer who is determined to sully her grandfather's reputation.
What then follows is an interesting dual time story which intertwines the story of Guillerme, with that of Petra's search for the truth. As dual time narratives go, I thought that this was an interesting story, with perhaps the events of 1909 Paris overshadowing the 1988 search that Petra undertakes. If I'm honest, I found myself more entranced with the story of Guillerme and Jeanne and of their illicit romance amongst the spun sugar and melted chocolate, than with Petra and her search for the skeletons in her grandfather's closet. But as the story starts to come together, and as the loose ends coalesce and combine, a story of intrigue and long buried secrets starts to emerge.
Overall, this is a nicely written dual time story with some lovely descriptions of Paris in the early part of the twentieth century. A bittersweet love story which sweeps across two very different time frames, which I am sure will appeal to those readers who enjoy this type of historical fiction.
My thanks to NetGalley and Random House UK ,Transworld Publishers for the opportunity to read this book.