Release date: July 12, 2016
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 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.
When you read this book you are reading about two women, one in the present and the other in the past. Madeleine is in her thirties in 1999 and her grandmother Margie is in her twenties in 1920. Despite living in different generations many of their issues are similar. One is trapped in a loveless marriage the other by unrealistic parental expectations.
What I liked about the book was that the chapters alternated between the two stories and two different time periods. Even though the two characters lived their lives fifty years apart, their issues were the same.The book had a nice flow to it, and I was sad when it ended. It would probably be a great book for a book club to discuss.