Thursday, March 24, 2011

Book review: 13, rue Therese

I recently had the chance to read a fascinating new book from Hachette Book Group entitled 13, rue Therese, by Elena Mauli Shapiro.  Here's a bit about the book, from the publisher's website:
American academic Trevor Stratton discovers a box full of artifacts from World War I as he settles into his new office in Paris. The pictures, letters, and objects in the box relate to the life of Louise Brunet, a feisty, charming Frenchwoman who lived through both World Wars.

As Trevor examines and documents the relics the box offers up, he begins to imagine the story of Louise Brunet's life: her love for a cousin who died in the war, her marriage to a man who works for her father, and her attraction to a neighbor in her building at 13 rue Thérèse. The more time he spends with the objects though, the truer his imaginings of Louise's life become, and the more he notices another alluring Frenchwoman: Josianne, his clerk, who planted the box in his office in the first place, and with whom he finds he is falling in love.
This is a really interesting book- best described as a historical novel with a bit of a psychological twist. The author was inspired to write this book by an actual box of keepsakes that she inherited from her neighbor, the real-life Louise Brunet.  You can see pictures of the items throughout the book, and can even use your smartphone's app to read QR codes and see enhanced versions of the images of the items.  13, rue Therese  draws you in to the story with amazing writing, lots of historical details, good use of the items from Louise's keepsake box, and characters that you can practically see coming to life before you.  If you love history or just want a great read, I highly recommend picking up 13, rue Therese!

(I do want to note that this book contains several sex scenes, so if that is something that you prefer not to read, this may not be an appropriate choice for you. Just a FYI!)

You can browse a bit of the book at the widget below:
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Hachette Book Group, through the Product Review Place. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.