A Paris Apartmant

A Paris Apartment

by Michelle Gable

Overview: Based on the fascinating true story of a treasure-stocked Parisian apartment opened for the first time in seventy years. April Vogt, Sotheby's continental furniture specialist, is speechless when a Paris apartment shuttered for seventy years is discovered in the ninth arrondissement. Beneath the cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a goldmine, and not because of the actual gold (or painted ostrich eggs or mounted rhinoceros horns or bronze bathtub). First, there's a portrait by one of the masters of the Belle Epoque, Giovanni Boldini. And then there are letters and journals written by the very woman in the painting, Marthe de Florian. These documents reveal that she was more than a renowned courtesan with enviable decolletage. Suddenly April's quest is no longer about the bureaux plats and Louis-style armchairs that will fetch millions at auction. It's about discovering the story behind this charismatic woman.

Deanna Boe (06/18/19) I think I am going to have to start reading reviews before I select a book to read. Actually this was being featured at the Milton library, not sure if the author was going to be speaking somewhere in Atlanta or why it was featured, but since I was in a hurry, why not grab it? The reviews I have read go all the way from fantastic to horrible – I probably fall somewhere in between although I had to push myself to finish it. This was written in 2015 and she has written three since this one.

The main character, April, is a continental furniture specialist who lives in New York. Her expertise has been requested in Paris to help evaluate an apartment crammed full of antique furniture. The apartment has been locked since the 1940’s. It had belonged to Marthe de Florian, or a very high class “paramour.” April immediately notices a painting by a famous artist, Boldini, that no one knows anything about. This intrigues April, along with the diary that Marthe had written throughout her life. This all sounds interesting but from there it goes down hill. April’s marriage is in trouble, she has the inevitable fling with the French lawyer in charge of the apartment, her father dies back in California, she convinces the French higher-ups as to how to feature and sell all of this stuff and naturally it brings in millions. What can I say? If you like to read about Paris and the French people, there are more interesting storylines out there.
Rating: ***-

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