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One day in the City of Lights One night in search of lost time Paris between the wars teems with artists, writers, and musicians, a glittering crucible of genius But amidst the dazzling creativity of the city s most famous citizens, four regular people are each searching for something they ve lostCamille was the maid of Marcel Proust, and she has a secret when she was asked to burn her employer s notebooks, she saved one for herself Now she is desperate to find it before her betrayal is revealed Souren, an Armenian refugee, performs puppet shows for children that are nothing like the fairy tales they expect Lovesick artist Guillaume is down on his luck and running from a debt he cannot repay but when Gertrude Stein walks into his studio, he wonders if this is the day everything could change And Jean Paul is a journalist who tells other people s stories, because his own is too painful to tell When the quartet s paths finally cross in an unforgettable climax, each discovers if they will find what they are looking forTold over the course of a single day in , The Paris Hours takes four ordinary people whose stories, told together, are as extraordinary as the glorious city they inhabit


10 thoughts on “The Paris Hours

  1. Paige Paige says:

    This is first and foremost a work of literary fiction I inhaled the pages because of the enhanced prose every word and sentence was bewitching The author took one day in the life of four characters and turned it into a beautiful story Set in post WWI Paris, four ordinary people begin an ordinary day until their paths cross.Mostly, the first few chapters start out with the characters everyday routines Some ordinary stuff But the polished language made these everyday things seem fascinating This is first and foremost a work of literary fiction I inhaled the pages because of the enhanced prose every word and sentence was bewitching The author took one day in the life of four characters and turned it into a beautiful story Set in post WWI Paris, four ordinary people begin an ordinary day until their paths cross.Mostly, the first few chapters start out with the characters everyday routines Some ordinary stuff But the polished language made these everyday things seem fascinating As the story progresses, their past is revealed in flashbacks Secrets, regret, loss, and betrayal loom in the shadows as each character continues throughout their day.Chapters are short and the pacing is good The cast of characters is colorful and engaging It took me a few chapters in the beginning to remember which character was which Chapters are narrated by each of the four different characters If you do not like prolific writing or if you want mega fast paced, then this probably isn t for you.Thank you to Flatiron books for sending me an advance copy Opinions are my own


  2. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    Update great book..It was fitting that I read this wonderful novel in one day.as the entire novel takes place in a single day It s truly transporting and immensely satisfying.exactly my favorite type of fiction great old fashion page turning storytelling Having been a fan of two other books by Alex George A Good American , and Setting Free The Kites.I didn t hesitate for a second to read another book by Alex George He s a top notched skillful storyteller In the Autho Update great book..It was fitting that I read this wonderful novel in one day.as the entire novel takes place in a single day It s truly transporting and immensely satisfying.exactly my favorite type of fiction great old fashion page turning storytelling Having been a fan of two other books by Alex George A Good American , and Setting Free The Kites.I didn t hesitate for a second to read another book by Alex George He s a top notched skillful storyteller In the Author s notes we learn that Alex went to boarding school in Paris at age 13 Alex lives in Missouri today Ten years after boarding school he returned to Paris, working as an attorney for an international law firm He said When I sat down to write this book, it was a joy to revisit some of my old haunts But writing about Paris is not without its challenges After all, there are alreadybooks and movies set in the French capital than there are croissants in the city s boulangeries The symbol of Paris is the most recognizable architectural structure on the planet So how to tell a story that offered a fresh perspective One of the ways Alex accomplished freshness was that he set the novel on the streets and parks where real every day Parisians lived and worked away from the famous tourist attractions He are so set the story in 1927, back when the city was in a post war explosion of creative brilliance populated by an army of geniuses whose artistic legacies survive to this day Some of those characters appear in the book, but by design they exist on the periphery of the novel, not at heart Paris was between wars Regular people were all searching for something they loss Alex unfolds this story with grace gorgeous lyrical prose with interesting, complex characters each who have a story to tell He explores the brutality of war, love, longing, betrayal, and history.so exquisitely that I never wanted to set this book down and didn t from start to finish one day in Paris one day read here at home When I got to the ending pages I almost forgot to breathe.as it was one of the most jaw dropping powerful endings that I ve read in years You ll meet Camille Clermont and her 10 year old daughter, Marie who had worked for Marcel Proust The famous French novelist, critic, and essayist 1871 1922A little sample dialogue Since 1922, five years, Camille Clermont had been coming to visit Proust s grave He had been her employer Marie watches her mother crying uncontrollably and asks, was he a nice man Oh yes He was very nice Very kind I wish you could ve known him better she smiles down at her daughter But he thought children were best enjoyed at a distance He didn t have children himself Goodness no, Camille laughs and shakes her head He had the characters in his books, though They were his children, I suppose Did you love him , asks Marie Very much More than papa Oh no Neverthan papa And in a very different way Different how It slike you and Irene In some ways We shared secrets, just like you and Irene That s why I come and put flowers on his grave I come to say hello, and to tell him that I miss him, and to say thank you for his friendship And, she thinks but does not say, to tell him that I am sorry for my betrayal And to forgive him for his You ll meet Guillaume Blanc an artist who can t afford his rent can t afford to eat achingly love sick and was running from a debt he couldn t repay.You ll meet Souren Balakian, an Armenian refugee who performs puppet shows for children not your ordinary fairy tale stories.You ll meet Emile Brataille an art dealer who came to Paris to declare his love to Therese, a prostitute Jean Paul Maillard is a journalist who dreams of America Josephine Baker, Ernest Hemingway, and the streets of Paris are irresistibly celebrated.This novel consumed me as it will every reader who loves riveting intimate storytelling Note it wasn t a sacrifice at all to turn off my phone turn off the world around me for a day.it was reading heaven I do apologize to friends I owe messages to I promise to return to our present lives together, soon Many thanks for an advance copy from Flatiron Books This book will be released in stores early May WONDERFUL.HIGHLY RECOMMEND


  3. Berit☀️✨ Berit☀️✨ says:

    Beautifully written and vividly told Alex George s debut is dazzling and packed with stunning pros This is the story of a day in a life of four regular people in post WWI Paris Camille, Souren, Guillaum, and Jean Paul are all living seemingly ordinary lives, but they all have a story to tell Told in short chapters we get to know each of these characters both through their current actions and flashbacks to their past There was also a sprinkling of well known historical figures throughout the Beautifully written and vividly told Alex George s debut is dazzling and packed with stunning pros This is the story of a day in a life of four regular people in post WWI Paris Camille, Souren, Guillaum, and Jean Paul are all living seemingly ordinary lives, but they all have a story to tell Told in short chapters we get to know each of these characters both through their current actions and flashbacks to their past There was also a sprinkling of well known historical figures throughout the book, such as Hemingway, Proust, Josephine Baker, and Gertrude Stein The beauty of this book was in the storytelling it was quite magical Each of these characters spoke to me but I found Jean Paul and Souren s stories extra compelling Jean Paul s grief was palpable and Souren s determination was admirable This was true literary fiction and while the writing was beautiful it was also quite dense This is not a light easy breezy read, but it is definitely worth your time This book will appeal to fans of historical fiction, literary fiction, and stellar storytelling.This book in emojis Big thank you to Flatiron for my gifted copy of this book All opinions are my own


  4. Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader says:

    The Paris Hours is set during a single day in 1927 I LOVED THAT I also loved the storytelling and was completely swept up in this most memorable story More thoughts to come when I can collect them.I received a gifted copy from the publisher All opinions are my own.Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram www.instagram.com tarheelreader The Paris Hours is set during a single day in 1927 I LOVED THAT I also loved the storytelling and was completely swept up in this most memorable story More thoughts to come when I can collect them.I received a gifted copy from the publisher All opinions are my own.Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram www.instagram.com tarheelreader


  5. Katie B Katie B says:

    3.5 starsThe author came up with an original idea for a story which I always appreciate as a reader It might not have hit me on quite the emotional level I was hoping for, but it was still an enjoyable reading experience Paris in the 1920s was a wise choice for a setting as it s not a time period that is captured as often in historical fiction as say, the 1940s during World War 2 The story takes place over the course of a day and alternates between four characters By the time my copy of the 3.5 starsThe author came up with an original idea for a story which I always appreciate as a reader It might not have hit me on quite the emotional level I was hoping for, but it was still an enjoyable reading experience Paris in the 1920s was a wise choice for a setting as it s not a time period that is captured as often in historical fiction as say, the 1940s during World War 2 The story takes place over the course of a day and alternates between four characters By the time my copy of the book I arrived at my houese, I had actually forgotten the synopsis and I just decided to dive right in without refreshing my memory I am glad I did because part of the enjoyment I got from reading this book was learning about each character bit by bit and watching things slowly unfold rather than getting a heads up about their backstories If you don t mind taking a leap of faith on a book, I recommend going into this one blind rather than reading the publisher s synopsis.This book can be classified as historical fiction although you could place it in the literary fiction genre as well There are a few famous people from the 1920s era that pop up in the story but for the most part this is a work of the author s imagination rather than relying heavily on historical facts or events I ve been having a kick lately out of reading this type of historical fiction as it s fun to see where a writer s creativity will go This is a well written story and I liked seeing how everything came together in the end Unfortunately I didn t feel much for the characters minus a few moments here and there I felt invested in them to want to find out what was in store for them, but not muchthan that There was potential here for this to be one of those good emotional type reads but in that area it fell flat, at least in my eyes But just because I didn t necessarily feel anything while reading that doesn t mean this book wasn t worthy of my time Might not have been the ultimate reading experience but it was still pretty darn good.I won a free advance copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway by the publisher but was not obligated to post a review All views expressed are my honest opinion


  6. Britany Britany says:

    Four stories, four perspectives, Paris and celebrities Four alternating storylines introduce a myriad of characters We have Souren an Armenian puppeteer, Jean Paul a journalist missing his daughter, Guillaume a painter that owes a debt, and Camille housekeeper to Marcel Proust I wanted to fall in love with this story and these characters so much I really grasped to let them draw me in emotionally I found the writing compelling and the stories were strong There were just way too many cha Four stories, four perspectives, Paris and celebrities Four alternating storylines introduce a myriad of characters We have Souren an Armenian puppeteer, Jean Paul a journalist missing his daughter, Guillaume a painter that owes a debt, and Camille housekeeper to Marcel Proust I wanted to fall in love with this story and these characters so much I really grasped to let them draw me in emotionally I found the writing compelling and the stories were strong There were just way too many characters I easily got confused and it always took a few sentences of a new section for me to orient myself as to whose story I was in Then the addition of Hemingway, Stein, Proust and Josephine Baker was just too much I struggled to connect but the threads of the main voice came through and for that I appreciated this readThank you to Netgalley and Flatiron for an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.


  7. Linda Linda says:

    Some things are forgettable, but misfortune is not It dogs you relentlessly once it gets the scent of defeat Down and out, a day late, the wolf at the door all pull up a chair and take residence within the pages of The Paris Hours But lest you feel the weight of all that suppressing you about now, remember that a determined and undaunted soul travels through life with mop and bucket in hand.Alex George sets this story in the midst of the streets of Paris in the late 1920 s The world is still Some things are forgettable, but misfortune is not It dogs you relentlessly once it gets the scent of defeat Down and out, a day late, the wolf at the door all pull up a chair and take residence within the pages of The Paris Hours But lest you feel the weight of all that suppressing you about now, remember that a determined and undaunted soul travels through life with mop and bucket in hand.Alex George sets this story in the midst of the streets of Paris in the late 1920 s The world is still trying to find balance between recovery after the war and the weight of still aching wounds carried within by its citizens and by those misplaced and wayward souls wandering through those streets Alex George will introduce us to four individuals who will find themselves stepping into connecting links that will snap back and forth across this incredible storyline He will cleverly slip in characters like Josephine Baker, Marcel Proust, Gertrude Stein, and Ernest Hemingway in order to get a real feel for life in Paris during this time period.Souren Balakian, an Armenian seeking sanctuary in Paris, has set up a puppet theater on the streets to entertain and to benefit from the coins thrown into his open suitcase We ll come to find that Souren s escape from Armenia was a dangerous and treacherous one.Guillaume Blanc is an undiscovered artist of questionable talent who needs desperately to pay back a loan that hangs over his head like a guillotine His art dealer, Emile Brataille, has set up a meeting with Gertrude Stein who dabbles in acquiring up and coming art pieces Will he catch her eye Jean Paul Maillard is a newspaper writer sent to interview the famous and lovely Josephine Baker Be ready for Jean Paul s backstory It s gonna grab you.Camille Clermont is the wife of Olivier and mother of young Marie When she and her husband were first married, she worked as a chambermaid and companion for Marcel Proust Camille s relationship with Proust will have a bearing that will spread in quite a few directions here.The Paris Hours is a remarkable character study by this talented author Alex George pulls threads through tiny openings unseen by the naked eye The descriptors are rich and full in presenting life in Paris at such a tumultuous era with people desperate to escape the harsh realities of life Happiness faded quickly if you didn t keep it front and center Our characters will be signaling us with just that Grab this one It will stay with you for quite some time.I received a copy of The Paris Hours through NetGalley for an honest review My thanks to Flatiron Books and to Alex George for the opportunity


  8. Annette Annette says:

    Set in Paris in 1927, the City of Lights, vibrates with artists of all kinds However, the story gives the center stage to four ordinary people, who rub elbows with famous artists By meeting another person, they learn something about themselves And sometimes what one person needs is simply kindness.Armenian refugee, Souren Balakian, escapes brutality of his native country imposed by invading Turks Being forced from their homes and driven eastwards, into the Syrian desert, to die He makes h Set in Paris in 1927, the City of Lights, vibrates with artists of all kinds However, the story gives the center stage to four ordinary people, who rub elbows with famous artists By meeting another person, they learn something about themselves And sometimes what one person needs is simply kindness.Armenian refugee, Souren Balakian, escapes brutality of his native country imposed by invading Turks Being forced from their homes and driven eastwards, into the Syrian desert, to die He makes his way to Europe, remembering his mother s words, there werethan three hundred types of cheese made in France And he intended to eat every one of them When he understands what makes him safe, being invisible, he takes his life in that direction by creating puppets and performing at the Luxembourg Gardens, beneath the chestnut trees where he waits for children to come Escaping his brutal past and through an encounter with another person, he realizes what he s been craving the most the human kindness.Guillaume Blanc escapes a small French country place and dreams of joining the ranks of the famous Parisian artists He is struggling for now, but his fate might be changing today with a new patron, American novelist and art collector Gertrude Stein She is to come and view his collection.Jean Paul Maillard, a journalist, dreams of America The first Americans he met were soldiers When he thinks of America, he thinks of hope He likes to observe the world, rather than be observed He likes telling other people s stories, rather than revealing his own, which also explains why he is a journalist When he interviews Josephine Baker, American born French entertainer, she reveals how different her life was in America and that s why she made France her home He realizes that her celebrity is a mask and now he needs to face his Camille Clermont, once the maid for Marcel Proust, now she visits his grave with her daughter every week While working for Proust, she gets surprised when he asks her about her childhood How a man of such status who spends evenings with duchesses wearing tiaras could be interested in a simple country girl He tells her why and he also tells her, The only place where you can regain lost paradise is in yourself What he gives her is her independence.Each of the characters tries to escape the past, at least some aspect of it, but by escaping it they can t free themselves from what haunts them They need to face it By encountering another person, it helps them learn something about themselves Some see the mirror image of their experience some see how little it takes to make another person happy Through their life journeys we get a glimpse at their life lessons, which may even mirror some of ours This isthan just a touching read It has a deeper meaning It s up to you if you want to tap into it and learn a deeper message.The events happen over one day, but the stories of protagonists alternate between the present day and their pasts, revealing deeply touching stories, taking a reader on a very engaging journey and leaving with a lingering effect Masterfully written and evoking human emotions, this story weaves human natures and touches upon many depths of not only those characters but also ours Thus, creating a deep connection with the story Source ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review


  9. Amanda Zirn Hudson Amanda Zirn Hudson says:

    I haven t felt this way about a book since I read WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING.Every time I read Alex George and think he could not possibly write abeautiful novel, he does.After turning the last page of The Paris Hours I instantly considered rereading the entire book just so I could experience the magic all over again The Paris Hours will sweep readers off their feet from the very beginning and whisk them away to early 20th century Paris It is lush and poignant, it is raw yet sophisticate I haven t felt this way about a book since I read WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING.Every time I read Alex George and think he could not possibly write abeautiful novel, he does.After turning the last page of The Paris Hours I instantly considered rereading the entire book just so I could experience the magic all over again The Paris Hours will sweep readers off their feet from the very beginning and whisk them away to early 20th century Paris It is lush and poignant, it is raw yet sophisticated it is everything readers have ever wanted in their next favorite book.After the last sentence of the very last page, when the journey has ended, readers will realize this beautiful novel was the exact book they were looking for


  10. ABookwormWithWine ABookwormWithWine says:

    I love, love, LOVED The Paris Hours by Alex George This was my first time reading a book by this author, but I am definitely going to have to read his backlist now The prose was wonderful, and the book was so moving I listened to the entirety of the book on audio and while at times it could be a little confusing without having a physical copy, overall I really enjoyed it this way The narrator, Raphael Corkhill, did a remarkable job especially considering how many characters he had to voice I love, love, LOVED The Paris Hours by Alex George This was my first time reading a book by this author, but I am definitely going to have to read his backlist now The prose was wonderful, and the book was so moving I listened to the entirety of the book on audio and while at times it could be a little confusing without having a physical copy, overall I really enjoyed it this way The narrator, Raphael Corkhill, did a remarkable job especially considering how many characters he had to voice There are a ton of different viewpoints in The Paris Hours which is why not having the book was a little hard If you are going to listen to the audio I would highly recommend having a physical copy you can look at as well There are a lot of names, and during the last, big, chapter when everything is coming together it was harder for me to follow on audio alone Although there were a lot of characters, I found myself drawn to each and every one of them along with their stories There is just something about George s writing that really spoke to my soul and I can t even begin to explain how much I truly loved this novel The chapters were mostly very short as well which I think made the book speed by even faster, but I never wanted it to end It broke my heart, but at the same time was inspiring and made me laugh at times The very end of the book wrecked me eventhan the rest of it, and this does not tie everything up in a neat little bow, but it does give you hope I think it would make a great buddy read or book club book as there is definitely a lot to talk about here The Paris Hours also had mentions of many famous people I was familiar with, and some that I was not I did a lot of Googling names and I feel like I learned quite a bit as well In my eyes this was a masterpiece, and I will definitely be purchasing myself a copy to have on my shelf