Happy publication day, Lily Graham! I am delighted to be kicking off the blog blitz with a review of Lily’s new novel, The Paris Secret. Huge thanks to Bookouture for the blitz invite and the ARC. Here is my review:
The last time Valerie was in Paris, she was three years old, running from the Nazis, away from the only home she had ever known.
Now as a young woman all alone in the world, Valerie must return to Paris, to the bookshop and her sole surviving relative, her grandfather Vincent, the only person who knows the truth about what happened to her parents. As she gets to know grumpy, taciturn Vincent again, she hears a tragic story of Nazi-occupied Paris, a doomed love affair and a mother willing to sacrifice everything for her beloved daughter.
Can Valerie and Vincent help each other to mend the wounds of the past? Valerie isn’t after a fairytale ending, she only wants the truth. But what is the one devastating secret that Vincent is determined to keep from his granddaughter?
What does TWG think?
Wow, what can I say? I really don’t think that my review would do this book justice at all, but I can only try my best.
I am so glad that Lily Graham decided to make her novels a bit more historical fiction, as she certainly has the tender writing style which makes the history become less in the past and more in the present…if that makes sense. This book isn’t a story which can be taken lightly. Instead, it’s a book which deserves to be read and appreciated from the reader’s heart, just like the story has been written from the authors heart.
‘The Paris Secret’ is written in both the present, and the past, switching between two different years in the past to allow Valerie’s life story to come alive. Poor Valerie has a family history she never knew existed but, with the chance of being heart-broken incredibly high, Valerie is still determined to find out the truth before it’s too late. Nothing could have prepared her for what she did find out, and my heart broke for her many times. Hell, my heart even broke for several of her family members because they were living in Paris during the time of the Nazis. I can’t even begin to imagine how frightening that must have been, although Lily Graham gave me an insight into history which I never thought was possible. Eye-opening and so emotional, I’m surprised the tears stayed in my eyes to be honest!
I have to hold my hands up and say that I probably underestimated this book to begin with. I didn’t know the situation, nor did I know the characters so my assumptions were made on my first impressions. Don’t be like me and assume. This story is utterly beautiful in both a devastating way, and a heart warming way, so read it like you’re holding onto something fragile. Read it as though you have someone’s precious item in your hands. Read it with your heart and mind wide open as it truly deserves it. Honestly.
‘The Paris Secret’ took my breath away – what a humbling, magical and powerful novel. I have to say that this is Lily Graham’s best book yet, and I truly feel as though the author has found her calling with this niche.
About the author:
Former journalist, Lily Graham grew up in South Africa, and spent much of her childhood buried inside the covers of a book. Her adulthood has passed no differently. Except that now she occasionally gets to make up some of the stories for a living. She is happy to report that most of her neighbours think of her as a cheerful layabout and no amount of protesting that lazing about in her pyjamas is actually ‘work’ she is never taken seriously. She lives in West Sussex with her husband and her beloved bulldog, Fudge.
Lily is the author of five novels, including THE ISLAND VILLA. All her books have entered the Amazon Top 100 bestseller list. THE PARIS SECRET is published on 4th October 2018.