I just finished reading Moonlight Over Paris by the wonderful Canadian author, Jennifer Robson. Moonlight Over Paris is her third book, fitting loosely with her first two novels. This novel features Lady Helena Montagu-Douglas-Parr who was the jilted fiance in her second novel, After the War is Over. I quite enjoyed the dichotomy of culture between England and France in regards to things such as broken engagements, living in “sin”, various alternative lifestyles and homosexuality. France, in the first two novels was a warzone and barely recovered country, but in this third novel it is far enough in the future that France has become a haven for those wishing to escape oppressive societies. Helena moves to France for a year to attend art school and live with her colourful aunt Agnes to escape the snubs and whispers she lives with in England over her broken engagement.
In the first two novels we don’t know much about Helena, other than the fact that she’s a sweet girl and has dutifully waited for her fiance to return from war only to be set aside so he can marry the woman he’s always wanted. It’s heartening to watch Helena break out of her old life and blossom into a new person, free from the restrictions that had been dragging her down for so long.
There are some fascinating characters that I would love to read about in their own stories, specifically Agnes, who lived unmarried for many years with a Russian Grand Duke, and Etienne, the brilliant artist who suffers heartbreak over the loss of his partner due to the risks of them being openly in love.
If you’re at all interested in the Great War, or just like historical fiction in general, then I definitely recommend Robson’s collection. I do intend to reread them at some point, so there may likely be additional posts on Somewhere in France and After the War is Over.
Here is her website: http://www.jennifer-robson.com/
And links to her novels:
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