This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life
I have mixed feelings regarding this book. I was so excited to read this book since the description held such promise. I saw that this book was set in Belle Époque Paris during the late 1800s and it just sounded wonderful. I thought that it was beautifully written with wonderful detail in many ways. I also found myself waiting for something to happen and thought the book seemed to drag in some places.
Sandrine goes to Paris to be with her grandmother and to get away from her husband in New York. When she makes it to her grandmother's home, she finds the house empty and learns that her grandmother is now staying in a different location. Sandrine is drawn to the house and meets Julien, the architect that her grandmother has hired, at the home. It becomes quickly apparent that something strange is happening as Sandrine seems to know things that she shouldn't know and acquires new skills with an alarming speed.
Sandrine is a character that did not elicit any feelings from me. I didn't like her or dislike her. To be perfectly honest, I am not sure that I know her very well. Her character seemed to change so much with dramatic personality differences. These personality changes makes sense in regards to the story but it also prevented me from connecting with the character. The only character that I really liked with Sandrine's grandmother but her role diminished as the book progressed.
I believe that some readers will have issues with the relationship between Sandrine and Julien since they are both in other relationships. Sandrine has left her husband but has not done anything to permanently end the relationship and Julien is engaged and plans to continue with his plans to marry. The attitude that a spouse should look the other way was common at the time and plays a large part of this book.
The setting of this book was wonderfully detailed and vivid. There were so many beautiful descriptions found in this novel. I loved the descriptions of the painting and learning about Sandrine's ancestor. I did find myself ready for something to happen at many points in the book. I think that the story did get a little overwhelmed with the description at a point and the pacing could have been better.
I think that this book is quite unique and manages to bring so many wonderful and unexpected elements together in one story. This is the first book by M.J. Rose that I have had a chance to read. I am still undecided about whether this is a series that I will continue with future installments.I received a copy of this book from Atria via Net Galley for the purpose of providing an honest review.