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Madeleine is trapped - by her family's expectations, by her controlling husband, and by her own fears - in an unhappy marriage and a life she never wanted. From the outside it looks like she has everything, but on the inside she fears she has nothing that matters.
In Madeleine's memories her grandmother, Margie, is the kind of woman she should have been - elegant, reserved, perfect. But when Madeleine finds a diary detailing Margie's bold, romantic trip to Jazz Age Paris, she meets the grandmother she never knew: a dreamer who defied her strict, staid family and spent an exhilarating summer writing in cafés, living on her own, and falling for a charismatic artist.
Despite her unhappiness, when Madeleine's marriage is threatened, she panics, escaping to her hometown and staying with her critical, disapproving mother. In that unlikely place, shaken by the revelation of a long-hidden family secret and inspired by her grandmother's bravery, Madeleine creates her own Parisian summer - reconnecting to her love of painting, cultivating a vibrant circle of creative friends, and finding a kindred spirit in a down-to-earth chef who reminds her to feed both her body and her heart.
Margie's and Madeleine's stories intertwine to explore the joys and risks of living life on our own terms, of defying the rules that hold us back from our dreams, and of becoming the people we are meant to be.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Rebecca J. Leamon on 08-24-16
Really wanted to love this book as I loved her "Weird Sisters," but finally, bitterly, reluctantly gave up on this repetitive whinefest of upper-class women claiming to be trapped by their lives, their mommies, and their societies' expectations. The trope of "my mother doesn't love me"/"I don't look right"/"my life traps me" kept coming up so often--nearly word for word--that it felt like each chapter was reintroducing itself. Oh--and, brace yourself: apparently adolescence and high school can be a challenging time! I kept listening and waiting for something unique, interesting, self-aware, or funny, but when I realized I was yelling, "Enough with the whining!" I decided to give up.
MIGHT get the hard copy (from the library!) and speed-read it to find out if the two women get backbones in their different eras and if Brown's wit and insight resurface, but I'm not forcing myself to listen to the whole pity party aloud!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By PujaMohan on 07-30-16
If you are looking for a light and easy read, this
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
The Light of Paris is a simple story and is written very elegantly. It explores the self-discovery of two women in two very different time periods. It shows the courage it takes to be who we really are. But also that the end result is not always picture perfect. The two stories mirror each other, and that was beautifully written.
Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?
The story seamlessly oscillates between early 1920’s with Madeleine grandmother, Margie’s rebellion to live the life she never dreamed she could have and late 1990’s where Madeleine is fighting herself for wanting to walk out on a marriage that has kept her stifled for so long.
Any additional comments?
I enjoyed Eleanor’s writing, this being my first of her books. Cassandra Campbell’s narration of the audio book was brilliant. She did an excellent job of finding different voices for the women in this book that captured the character’s essence very well.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful