My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book – while I did not know it when I started – is based on a real apartment in Paris that had been locked up for 70 years. During the raids on Paris during WWII, someone locked the door and just walked away. For the next 70 years, the bills were always paid on time but no one ever returned and no one knew why. This apartment was filled with the most beautiful furniture, art work, and day to day items of the times; perfectly preserved as a time capsule. Author, Ella Carey, takes this kernel of truth and creates an engrossing story with empathetic characters that grabs you from Chapter 1.
Cat Jordan is a mildly successful, although unhappy and unfulfilled, photographer in New York City when she receives a mysterious package from Paris with a note and a key. Once it is determined that a woman named Isabelle de Florian whom Cat has never met, has passed and left everything to her, Cat is required to go to Paris to work out the particulars. Cat learns of the wild and romantic life her grandmother lived in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. She also learns that her grandmother’s best friend left all of this to her. When Loic enters the picture, all is upturned. Loic is the grandson and heir to the apartment and while the reader may anticipate a war over who gets what, Loic only wants to know why his grandmother hid these beautiful things and this part of her life from his family. Cat and Loic partner up and tour the French countryside to find out just who Isabelle de Florian was and why she felt so compelled after 70 years to keep everything in place just to give away.
This story wraps you and leaves you wanting more! As a lover of history and travel (specifically France) I was caught hook, line, and sinker from the very beginning. Ella Carey has a gift in tying together truth with fantasy that is both believable and entertaining. I highly recommend this read to anyone who loves a good fictional read with an historical twist.