NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
From Edward Rutherfurd, the grand master of the historical novel, comes a dazzling epic about the magnificent city of Paris. Moving back and forth in time, the story unfolds through intimate and thrilling tales of self-discovery, divided loyalty, and long-kept secrets. As various characters come of age, seek their fortunes, and fall in and out of love, the novel follows nobles who claim descent from the hero of the celebrated poem The Song of Roland; a humble family that embodies the ideals of the French Revolution; a pair of brothers from the slums behind Montmartre, one of whom works on the Eiffel Tower as the other joins the underworld near the Moulin Rouge; and merchants who lose everything during the reign of Louis XV, rise again in the age of Napoleon, and help establish Paris as the great center of art and culture that it is today. With Rutherfurd’s unrivaled blend of impeccable research and narrative verve, this bold novel brings the sights, scents, and tastes of the City of Light to brilliant life.
Praise for Paris
“A tour de force . . . [Edward Rutherfurd’s] most romantic and richly detailed work of fiction yet.”—Bookreporter
“Fantastic . . . as grand and engrossing as Paris itself.”—Historical Novels Review
“This saga is filled with historical detail and a huge cast of characters, fictional and real, spanning generations and centuries. But Paris, with its art, architecture, culture and couture, is the undisputed main character.”—Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“Both Paris, the venerable City of Light, and Rutherfurd, the undisputed master of the multigenerational historical saga, shine in this sumptuous urban epic.”—Booklist
“There is suspense, intrigue and romance around every corner.”—Asbury Park Press
This massive novel traces the evolution of the City of Light over eight centuries, lacing together the fates of a handful of families in operatic style over the decades as class, religion, and commerce are buffeted by great historical forces. From the construction of Notre Dame and the Belle Epoque to the Nazi occupation, Rutherfurd (New York), a specialist in fictionalizing great sweeps of history through a single place, weaves the family ties of a bourgeois merchant clan, a minor aristocratic lineage, and a working-class family of patriots and criminals. Augmented by a credible cast of several dozen other characters, the author spins tales of multiple of emotions over many eras. Rutherfurd dispatches these rich historical periods with grace, bringing different epochs to life through the family sagas that cleave through the sweep of time, from an era of great cathedrals to the rise of the Eiffel Tower. Though his characters are too often pressed into service as talking history textbooks, he shows great authority as to what makes Paris exciting, lively, and timeless in its appeal.
It is very difficult to gather the reader's attention when a book is so much pages long. However, the author takes us through the history of Paris with a very powerful narrative which is hard to abandon. The characters and families come to mind easily without needing further referrals to lists which are so common in long books. I seriously recommend this novel. The value added by it is immense.
A good read. Very entertaining, however I would have liked it better in chronological order. With the exchanges between families and characters, it was a little difficult to keep things in order. It seemed unnecessary to move back and forth in the timeline.
What a joyful read interlaced with historical places and events -I really learned a lot about Paris and France in general