In the idyllic early summer of 1914, life is good for the de Witt family. Rudolf and Verena are planning the wedding of their daughter Emmeline, while their eldest son, Arthur, is studying in Paris, and Michael is just back from his first term at Cambridge. Celia, the youngest of the de Witt children, is on the brink of adulthood and secretly dreams of escaping her carefully mapped-out future and exploring the world.But the onslaught of war changes everything and soon the de Witts find themselves sidelined and in danger of losing everything they hold dear. As Celia struggles to make sense of the changing world around her, she lies about her age to join the war effort and finds herself embroiled in a complex plot that puts not only herself but those she loves in danger.With gripping detail and brilliant empathy, Kate Williams tells the story of Celia and her family as they are shunned by a society that previously embraced them, torn apart by sorrow, and buffeted and changed by the storms of war.
About the Author
Marcus Sedgwick is a widely admired, prizewinning author of YA fiction. His books have been shortlisted for over thirty awards, including the Carnegie Medal (five times), the Edgar Allan Poe Award (twice) and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize (four times). He has won the Branford Boase award for his debut novel, Floodland, and the Booktrust Teenage Prize for My Swordhand is Singing. This first novel for adults.
A historical thriller that will not be easy for readers to forget.
A fascinating look at the power of the human mind to solve problems both internal and external, set in one of the most important, progressive periods of modern history. Sedgwick pays tribute to Belle Epoque Paris with a tale that is lovingly aware of its setting, which is perhaps the only time and place that a crime this complex, with characters this bizarre and compelling, could have been both perpetrated and ultimately solved.
A memorable book for many reasons; including an ending that Despres and his prodigious mind deserve.
Fin de siècle Paris provides the backdrop for this outstanding thriller from Sedgwick, who creates a sense of intimacy with the reader through darkly humorous omniscient narration reminiscent of Dumas. Sedgwick thoughtfully explores fundamental questions about the relationship of memory and identity.
Young-adult novelist Sedgwick returns to Paris in his second book for adults, this time to La Belle Epoque, weaving murder and memory into an intense thriller. Beautifully woven. Characters are shaped subtly but colorfully. The narrative voice has an old-fashioned address-the-reader aura. Marvelously imagined and sure to appeal to readers who enjoy an intelligent thriller.
Marcus Sedgwick is a prolific author of YA novels, which shows in his simple, direct language, fast pace and eventful plot. It does not deter him from opening up profound existential themes. A thriller that makes you think.
While the intriguing setup and the fascinating characters will rivet readers, there’s more to this novel than a mere murder mystery—this work offers a deep examination of memory: how it changes, how it imprisons, and how it eventually brings answers. A quality crime drama; hand to readers who appreciate thought-provoking mystery or historical fiction.