Posted in Belle Époque First Line Friday

First Line Friday: Paris Time Capsule

“The parcel was wrapped in brown paper and tied with an unblemished silk ribbon.” PARIS TIME CAPSULE by Ella Carey “New York–based photographer Cat Jordan is ready to begin a new life with her successful, button-down boyfriend. But when she learns that she’s inherited the estate of a complete stranger—a woman named Isabelle de Florian—her life is turned upside down. Cat arrives in Paris to find that she is now the owner of a perfectly preserved Belle Époque apartment in the ninth arrondissement, and that the Frenchwoman’s family knew nothing about this secret estate. Amid these strange developments, Cat is left with burning questions: Who was Isabelle de Florian? And why did she leave the inheritance to Cat instead of her own family? As Cat…

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Posted in 19th Century 20th Century Author Interview Belle Époque Victorian

author interview: Robert Stephen Parry on The Hours Before

Author Interview: ROBERT STEPHEN PARRY The Hours Before begins with an interesting character perspective. Can you explain why you chose this path for the introduction? Perhaps one of the easiest mistakes we can make in life (and the more successful, wealthy or comfortable one becomes the easier it is to make it) is to assume that humility and modesty are indications of inferiority in those we encounter – when in fact they can be, and often are, just the opposite. The world’s great religions, and even many of our most popular stories and myths teach us this. I have always been fascinated by the scenario outlined in the Bhagavad Gita – the Hindu spiritual classic – in which, on the eve of battle, the hero…

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Posted in 19th Century 20th Century Belle Époque Reviews Victorian

review: The Hours Before

The Hours Before By Robert Stephen Parry Set during the Belle Époque era, The Hours Before is the story of Deborah Peters, a once-celebrated clairvoyant turned dejected society matron, who is bent on revenge and readying herself for a final assignation with her adversary. Readers take a backward look at the events leading up to the protagonist’s current wretched state, and uncover the step-by-step truth of her daughter’s mysterious disappearance and possible demise. Penelope Peters, an English twenty-something student studying in Europe, is caught up in an occultist group focused on turn-of-the-century doomsday. Her father, Hugh Peters, is the head of a popular gossip newspaper which has of late determined to smear his ex-wife’s name and ruin her while covering up his daughter’s scandalous affiliations….

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Posted in 20th Century Art History Belle Époque Reviews

review: Madame Picasso

Madame Picasso by Anne Girard At the close of the opulent Belle Époque era in Paris, Eva Gouel makes her debut as a seamstress/designer at the glamorous cabaret Moulin Rouge, where she first spots Pablo Picasso in the audience. Another meeting at an art exhibit furthers their acquaintance, and they begin a tête-à-tête that blossoms into a deep and inescapable devotion. It is a struggle for Eva to accept love from a man she so revers, and she constantly questions his sincerity, for she feels less than confidant trying to fill the goddess-like shoes of Picasso’s last love, Fernande Olivier. This insecurity, coupled with the cold reception from many of the Montmartre set of artists and poets, flaws Eva’s happiness, but Picasso’s creativity flourishes under…

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