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The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman
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The Velvet Hours (edition 2016)

by Alyson Richman (Author)

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6918173,491 (4)2
Member:cfk
Title:The Velvet Hours
Authors:Alyson Richman (Author)
Info:Berkley (2016), 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Paris, Belle Epoch, WW I, WW II, Romance, family

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The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman

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English (17)  Dutch (1)  All (18)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Marthe de Florian is revealed through the stories she tells her granddaughter Solange during the approaching darkness of WW II. Her story begins as the impoverished and unwed birth mother of Solange's Father, who is given to a friend to raise, and follows her rise as a courtesan of the Belle Epoch and a collector of fine art. ( )
  cfk | Jun 19, 2017 |
A special thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

A Parisian flat that has been untouched for over 70 years is the inspiration for this story. The owner left Paris for the south of France before the outbreak of WWII, never to return again. The apartment, miraculously in tact, unscathed from the war and thieves, quietly lay in waiting and gathering almost a century's worth of dust.

There is a further twist, there was a painting of a lady in pink, and love letters tied with coloured ribbons amongst the items inventoried. The painting is believed to be Ms. de Florian's grandmother, Marthe, a beautiful French actress and socialite. It is thought that she is the artist Giovanni Boldini's muse.

Richman's fictitious tale of the events of the apartment's occupants is told by Marthe de Florian, and her granddaughter, Solange in alternating points of view. Their relationship develops through the novel as we shift in time from the past, starting in 1888, and what is present day, 1938.

A must read! This book would be an excellent choice for a book club. ( )
  GirlWellRead | Feb 25, 2017 |
I absolutely loved this book! Alyson Richman does an amazing job of pulling you into the story and she describes things so magically that your imagination can visualize everything along her story line. I didn't want the story to end. I wanted to see where the next generation began with their discovery. Amazing!!! ( )
  mcgeerhonda | Feb 7, 2017 |
A love story to span 5 decades. The story takes place in Paris in the late 1800's and goes through to WW II. The story is based on the life of a poor young woman who bears a child while she is young and gives him up for adoption and the life she chooses as a kept woman in love with her lover. The years pass and her granddaughter comes to see her. She tells her granddaughter her story. Very well written with a wonderful ending. ( )
  joannemonck | Feb 6, 2017 |
I enjoyed reading "The Velvet Hours" By Alyson Richman. Alyson has a way of bringing artist flair in her novels, color into the world and words of her novel. There is dark and light, and texture and composition. Her characters are intriguing and captivating. There is comparison and contrast seen in her characters. The novel deals with the best and worst of times in Paris.Two characters,Marthe de Florian, and Solange Beuagiron have their own stories, past, and present that eventually connect. Marthe de Florian has an apartment filled with beautiful art and history, that holds many secrets. Solange is a writer and has precious historical Hebrew books (inherited from her mother)that are valuable.Sometimes precious treasures can be used as means of survival and freedom. Sometimes precious treasures represent tradition and history. I loved reading this book and would highly recommend it. (less) ( )
  teachlz | Nov 28, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0425266265, Paperback)

As Paris teeters on the edge of the German occupation, a young French woman closes the door to her late grandmother’s treasure-filled apartment, unsure if she’ll ever return. 

An elusive courtesan, Marthe de Florian cultivated a life of art and beauty, casting out all recollections of her impoverished childhood in the dark alleys of Montmartre. With Europe on the brink of war, she shares her story with her granddaughter Solange Beaugiron, using her prized possessions to reveal her innermost secrets. Most striking of all are a beautiful string of pearls and a magnificent portrait of Marthe painted by the Italian artist Giovanni Boldini. As Marthe’s tale unfolds, like velvet itself, stitched with its own shadow and light, it helps to guide Solange on her own path. 

Inspired by the true account of an abandoned Parisian apartment, Alyson Richman brings to life Solange, the young woman forced to leave her fabled grandmother’s legacy behind to save all that she loved.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 11 Jul 2016 10:46:17 -0400)

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