This month was a busy one, so while I intended to finish four books this month, I only made it through three and got started on the fourth. This month we traveled to 1970s Paris and India in The Perfumist of Paris and joined a radio advice host and a group of broken-hearted listeners on a dream vacation to Italy in The Little Italian Hotel. Next, author Bryn Turnbull masterfully transported us to WWII Paris in The Paris Deception, where we meet Sophie and Fabienne who must put their past aside to keep stolen artwork out of the hands of the Nazis. In the final book for the month, One Little Spark, four women’s lives are forever changed when a fire blazes through their small town.
The Perfumist of Paris
The Perfumist of Paris, the final book in the Jaipur trilogy by author Alka Joshi, takes us to Paris where perfumer Radha has been given the commission to create her first perfume all while dealing with the demands of her husband who believes she should be spending more time at home with her two daughters. Unknown to her family in Paris, Radha has a secret of her own that she’s been keeping since she left India.
When she returns to her home country to research the ingredients she needs to complete her perfume, old memories, and past wounds begin to resurface and her past and her past can no longer remain hidden.
From the author of Reese’s Book Club Pick The Henna Artist, the final chapter in Alka Joshi’s New York Times bestselling Jaipur trilogy takes readers to 1970s Paris, where Radha’s budding career as a perfumer must compete with the demands of her family and the secrets of her past.
Paris, 1974. Radha is now living in Paris with her husband, Pierre, and their two daughters. She still grieves for the baby boy she gave up years ago, when she was only a child herself, but she loves being a mother to her daughters, and she’s finally found her passion—the treasure trove of scents.
She has an exciting and challenging position working for a master perfumer, helping to design completely new fragrances for clients and building her career one scent at a time. She only wishes Pierre could understand her need to work. She feels his frustration, but she can’t give up this thing that drives her.
Tasked with her first major project, Radha travels to India, where she enlists the help of her sister, Lakshmi, and the courtesans of Agra—women who use the power of fragrance to seduce, tease and entice. She’s on the cusp of a breakthrough when she finds out the son she never told her husband about is heading to Paris to find her—upending her carefully managed world and threatening to destroy a vulnerable marriage.
The Little Italian Hotel
The Little Italian Hotel is my new favorite book for 2023. I absolutely ADORED this book. The main character Ginny, a radio host and advice expert has just planned a special trip to Italy to celebrate 30 years of marriage when her husband Adrian announces he wants a divorce.
When the trip proves impossible to cancel, Ginny decides to invite four heartbroken listeners to join her on the trip. The cast of characters in the book are all very different from one another, there’s Curtis a property developer, Edna and an 80-year-old widow, Eric a carpenter who likes to keep to himself, Heather the talkative school teacher… and then there’s Nico, and his daughter Loretta who run the Hotel Splendido.
Read the interview with Phaedra.
When a relationship expert’s own marriage falls apart, she invites four strangers to Italy for a vacation of healing and second chances in this uplifting new novel from the author of The Messy Lives of Book People.
Ginny Splinter, acclaimed radio host and advice expert, prides herself on knowing what’s best for others. So she’s sure her husband, Adrian, will love the special trip to Italy she’s planned for their thirtieth wedding anniversary. But when Ginny presents the gift to Adrian, he surprises her with his own very different plan—a divorce.
Beside herself with heartache, Ginny impulsively invites four heartbroken listeners to join her in Italy instead while live on air. From hiking the hills of Bologna to riding a gondola in Venice to sharing stories around the dining table of the little Italian hotel, Ginny and her newfound company embark on a vacation of healing.
However, when Adrian starts to rethink their relationship, Ginny must decide whether to commit to her marriage or start afresh, alone. And an unexpected stranger may hold the key to a very different future… Sunny, tender and brimming with charm, The Little Italian Hotel explores marriage, identity and reclaiming the present moment—even if it means leaving the past behind.
The Paris Deception
Author Bryn Turnbull masterfully transports us to WWII Paris, where Sophie joins real-life character Rose Valland at the Jeu de Paume which has been taken over by the ERR (who have stolen art from Jewish families). Sophie must put the past aside, and enlist the help of her former sister-in-law to keep the art from being lost forever.
This is a must-read book that you won’t be able to put down! Stay tuned for an interview with Bryn coming soon.
From internationally bestselling author Bryn Turnbull comes a breathtaking novel about art theft and forgery in Nazi-occupied Paris, and two brave women who risk their lives rescuing looted masterpieces from Nazi destruction.
Sophie Dix fled Stuttgart with her brother as the Nazi regime gained power in Germany. Now, with her brother gone and her adopted home city of Paris conquered by the Reich, Sophie reluctantly accepts a position restoring damaged art at the Jeu de Paume museum under the supervision of the ERR—a German art commission using the museum as a repository for art they’ve looted from Jewish families.
Fabienne Brandt was a rising star in the Parisian bohemian arts movement until the Nazis put a stop to so-called “degenerate” modern art. Still mourning the loss of her firebrand husband, she’s resolved to muddle her way through the occupation in whatever way she can—until her estranged sister-in-law, Sophie, arrives at her door with a stolen painting in hand.
Soon the two women embark upon a plan to save Paris’s “degenerates,” working beneath the noses of Germany’s top art connoisseurs to replace the paintings in the Jeu de Paume with skillful forgeries—but how long can Sophie and Fabienne sustain their masterful illusion?
One Little Spark
Four women lives are changed forever when a fire ravages their small Oregon town. Who set the fire? What secrets will be revealed? You’ll have to check out One Little Spark to find out.
Jenna Abbott’s life went up in flames even before the fire started in Tenmile, Oregon. She was still coping with her husband’s affair—and the revelation that he got a much younger woman pregnant—when the fire finally died down, and Ryan was among the missing.
Chelsea Goddard still can’t explain how her estranged husband got back to Tenmile from out of the country the day of the fire, and she also can’t shake the nagging feeling that the secrets they’ve kept between them for the last twenty years might just be the tinder that made it all burn.
Morgan White knew getting involved with a married man was wrong, even before she got pregnant. She might be the only one who knows the truth about some of Tenmile’s leading citizens…but people would have to stop treating her like a pariah to hear it.
Alex Coleman doesn’t remember anything from that fateful day, why she was found wandering on a rural road or why she has dreams of standing on scorched earth, holding a book of matches.
For four women, when the flames finally burn out, what’s left behind will be even more devastating than the fire itself…
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