Book Reviews · Historical Fiction

The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell – Book Review

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Goodreads blurb: An artist lost to history, a family abandoned to its secrets, and the woman whose search for meaning unearths it all in a sweeping and expressive story from the New York Times bestselling author of Letters from Paris. 

Long, lonely years have passed for the crumbling Château Clement, nestled well beyond the rolling lavender fields and popular tourist attractions of Provence. Once a bustling and dignified ancestral estate, now all that remains is the château’s gruff, elderly owner and the softly whispered secrets of generations buried and forgotten.

But time has a way of exposing history’s dark stains, and when American photographer Cady Drake finds herself drawn to the château and its antique carousel, she longs to explore the relic’s shadowy origins beyond the small scope of her freelance assignment. As Cady digs deeper into the past, unearthing century-old photographs of the Clement carousel and its creators, she might be the one person who can bring the past to light and reunite a family torn apart.

“Je t’aime toujours, et encore. Souviens-toi de moi.”

(I love you always, and still. Remember me.)

A beautiful story encompassing interpersonal emotion and challenge, virtue, and duty. The writer creates a story of threes’: 3 primary characters, 3 time periods, and 3 different challenges.  The setting location is France, both urban and rural. The title and use of the town of ‘Provence’ is almost metaphoric in its relation to thematic components within the book.

Provenance can be defined as “the place of origin or earliest known history of something, the beginning of something’s origin, and/or a record of ownership of a work of art or an antique”. The writer weaves her story based within the context of these definitions.  The linkages between the three time periods and the subsequent human decision by the three primary actors demonstrate how social duty can cause a generational dysfunction within families, ruin lives, and show that who we think we are, in the end, can be very different of what we actually are in real life.

Never again will I look at a carousel and not think of this book.  It is thought provoking, ancient with its themes, and demonstrates how bringing a person, soul, and something discarded back to life can create wonderful endings.  Perhaps this old saying says it best: It is not where you are going that is important, rather what is important is how you get there.

Special thank you to the publisher, Berkley Books and the author for sending me a free review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. Click here to get your copy of The Lost Carousel of Provence.

Happy Reading!

Taylor

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