Sunday, March 06, 2011 Posted by Dina N
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.
13, Rue Thérèse is a fascinating story that spans past and present-day France. The magical plot alternates between the attraction between an American professor and a mysterious French girl who works at his office, and the live and loves of a woman who left behind a box of secrets dating back to the beginning of the 20th century. Her story takes center stage in the book and is revealed in bits and pieces, as the professor uncovers clues about her life. Imagination and reality are irresistibly intertwined in this beautiful novel. The puzzle kept me guessing to the last page. 13, Rue Thérèse is an intriguing journey from present to past and back that I truly enjoyed.
13, Rue Thérèse by Elena Mauli Shapiro is available from Reagan Arthur Books, a division of Hachette Book Group.
Disclaimer / Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of the book with no obligation for a positive review. No compensation - monetary or in kind - has been obtained for this post. Cover art and book description courtesy of the publisher or PR firm