Thursday 4 July 2024

The Paris Affair by Fiona Schneider

Happy publication day to Fiona Schneider.

Out to buy today from Amazon - paperback, audio an kindle format.

The Paris Affair: A breath-taking historical romance perfect for fans of Lucinda RileyThe Paris Affair: A breath-taking historical romance perfect for fans of Lucinda Riley by Fiona Schneider
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Pages - 400

Publisher - Michael Joseph Books

Source - ARC

Blurb from Goodreads

In Paris 1942 a woman disappears in the middle of the night, leaving behind the man she loves. French chef Sylvie was sent to Paris as part of the resistance, while German soldier Christoph is doing his duty to save his sister. As the two begin to discover the people beneath their uniforms, the rest of the world, and the war raging on, fades away. But Christoph can never know Sylvie’s identity, which might end up destroying him. Sixty years later, Christoph’s health is declining, and his memories are fading. Having returned to Germany to help her mentor, Julia discovers a book filled with ‘the recipes of us’ and sets out to cook each dish in the hope of reviving Christoph. As his memories resurface, Julia begins her own quest to find the woman he lost to the war. Can Julia discover the truth behind Sylvie and Christoph, or will it be too late?

My Review

Buckle up toots, this one is taking us on a bit of a journey, emotive at times! Duo timeline, we go from past, world war 2 times and all the horrors/heartache associated as we follow a undercover agent, Sylvie, working with the resistance. Switching between then and present day where we follow amazing pianist Julia and her old mentor Christoph. Christoph is unwell, his memories are gone and Sylvie is having struggles with her playing abilities at such a crucial time in her career. When she takes up looking after Christoph she finds an old personalised recipe book that opens up flashes back to Christoph's life, back in the war and sending them down memory lane and investigating/putting together the gaps to unravel Christoph's past. His son Daniel and Julia have their own troubled past and Daniel is not happy with the two digging up a past he would sooner his dad forget!

So for the world war part we have Sylvie, desperate to do her part in thwarting the Germans and she lands a job as a chef in the middle of those higher up. Christoph is a German and stationed in the same vicinity as Sylvie, I could read their timespan over and over. There are uncomfortable parts because as you know during world war 2 was when some of the worst atrocities where committed, there are not huge details but enough to give the reader apprehension/fear especially for Sylvie whilst she tries to do her part.

Current day, I loved how much Julia cared for Christoph and tried so much to get him his precious memories back. The difference with this book and a lot of others focused on relationships around that time period, this one features cooking/recipes, genuine recipes, some from the authors family book and some from research. It gives a very authentic feel for the characters/place and timescale but also the author has given the how to, ingredients and how well or not Julia does. Like me, Julia doesn't cook and I feel this added realism to the character, you know she didn't just find this book, cook a recipe to perfection and bam = memories unlocked. It is quite well done and even though I am a weirdo when it comes to food (so many issues lol) there was at least one I would like to try out and I think people will appreciate, especially foodies, that these come from actual family/researched recipes!

I could write about this one for ages to be honest, relationships, family, health, past/present. war, survival, ripples/aftermath, cause and effect, murder, sadness, love, hope, bravery, it is a full bag and a wee bit of the emotionals! The book will be out to buy, July 4th so absolutely one for the pre order or take a note so you don't forget.

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