Haunting Paris

Haunting Paris

by Mamta Chaudhry

Overview: In the summer of 1989, while all of Paris is poised to celebrate the bicentennial of the French Revolution, Sylvie mourns the loss of her lover, Julien, and is unable to find solace in the music that has always been her refuge. But when she accidentally dislodges an envelope concealed in Julien's desk, she finds an enigmatic note from a stranger and feels compelled to meet this woman who might hold the key to Julien's past. Julien's sister and one of her daughters perished in the Holocaust; but Julien held out hope that the other daughter managed to escape. Julien had devoted years to secretly tracking his niece, and now Sylvie picks up where he left off.

Sylvie sets out on her quest for knowledge, unaware that she is watched over by Julien's ghost, whose love for her is powerful enough to draw him back, though he is doomed to remain a silent observer in the afterlife. Sylvie's journey leads her deep into the secrets of Julien's past, shedding new light on the dark days of Nazi-held Paris and on the character of the man Sylvie loved.

Mamta Chaudhry's profoundly moving debut matches emotional intensity with lyrical storytelling to explore grief, family secrets, and the undeniable power of memory, while using vivid imagery and deep historical understanding to capture a city in breathtaking new ways.

Elaine Marlin (07/30/19): Well, if you love all things to do with Paris, but will be able to handle another story which absolutely does not whitewash the French complicity (and worse) in the unthinkable and horrendous round up of French Jews and other Jews living in Paris and around that area, in Vel D'Hiv velodrome, in 1942, I highly recommend this incredibly written and interesting love story, written by first time author, Mamta Chaudhry. She lives in Coral Gables, Fl. However, she splits her time between there and Calcutta and France. This is very well researched. The words flow and sweep you up completely. One of the two main characters , Julien, who was Jewish, is a revenant: a man who has died, but still wanders Paris. The other character, his grieving girlfriend, is a fantastic pianist and piano teacher and caring human being.You will wander with Julien, into many periods of history, and you will feel like you are right there with him! His grieving girlfriend, Sylvie, faces many challenges to try to find out if one of Julien's twin niece survived the Holocaust, and where she might be.

This is a rewarding book, and I could not put it down. I saw the author at her book appearance a few months ago, and when I did start to read the novel, I kept going. Her descriptions of people , and places, are amazing. I highly recommend.
Rating: *****

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