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I became absorbed in Paris Postcards. Each story was captivating in its own right - and the author’s writing style really made it all rattle along nicely. The variety of sentence length, the richness of descriptive passages - yet a wonderful concision and tautness in the story lines. Great editing. Great planning. It was a marvellous read.
Very charming stories, some that really brought back memories of Paris for me. Very clever structure and recurring characters, despite them being standalone stories. Definitely worth a read for anyone who loves this city.
Paris Postcards is a collection of 11 short stories set in Paris, with the central theme: a postcard. Each postcard in each story has a message – for good or bad. The stories span from 1925 to the present day, in a snapshot of history. They are all linked in some way, through time or character or place – but in a subtle way.
From a Russian Count in 1925 to a middle-aged woman in the present day, the stories are of young and old, Parisienne and foreign, and rich and poor. Hermione’s party in 1937, Lucienne in German Occupied Paris in 1943, Elodie and her son in 1963, Didier and Jules in 1997, Jeanne in 2000, Hank in 2006, and Li Ling and Christopher in the present day, it ends with a fifty-year-old divorced woman, off Citalopram for two months, visiting the bouquinistes along the river Seine with their old books and postcards.
The Blue Dress, February 2006, is my favourite story, and the shortest –Hank and his wife Lilian, who is ‘a little forgetful’ are in Paris for their wedding anniversary. She has a collection of vintage Valentine’s Day postcards.
There are various narrators – Andre, Daisy, Serge, George – and it is interesting to find the linkages and connections between stories. The stories are full of secrets and subterfuge, love and loss, and the search for a change of life and fortune. There is much hope, desire, and dreams in the streets of Paris. It’s an enjoyable read.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the stories that were before the 1990's. The language was eloquent, although there was subtle sexism included. At one point, we were told that "all women want to be possessed."
I tried to ignore that opinion, but of course I failed to do so. Perhaps this was, indeed, the opinion of that era. I wouldn't know. And, I found that I didn't want to know - either.
As far as the stories beyond the 1990's, they began to reflect the ignorant minds of more current times. I can't say that this was offensive, because I agree with it.
Too much truth, I guess. I won't hold this against the author, tho. These truths were well-written, just annoying to be reminded of how the human race thinks about women, and how ignorant people have become as time has passed.
Well known travel writer Guy Hibbert has turned his reportorial talents to fiction for this charming series of glimpses into the past and into Parisian life. His knowledge of France stands him in good stead as he creates a sequence of short stories set throughout the years with the intriguing connection of a ‘postcard’ that features in each yarn. This clever tactic lends the book a gentle flow as we engage in each brief tale then are pleased to meet the same characters again further into the series. This book is the perfect gift for any fan of French life and literature.
Very enjoyable, some I would have loved further expanded! Some more interesting than others, but this is a matter of taste and love of the particular character! I sincerely think each story could have been turned into a great book . . . But all were definitely a pleasure to read!