Paris Time Capsule - Ella Carey
New York–based photographer Cat Jordan is ready to begin a new life with her successful, button-down boyfriend. But when she learns that she’s inherited the estate of a complete stranger—a woman named Isabelle de Florian—her life is turned upside down.
Cat arrives in Paris to find that she is now the owner of a perfectly preserved Belle Époque apartment in the ninth arrondissement, and that the Frenchwoman’s family knew nothing about this secret estate. Amid these strange developments, Cat is left with burning questions: Who was Isabelle de Florian? And why did she leave the inheritance to Cat instead of her own family?
As Cat travels France in search of answers, she feels her grasp on her New York life starting to slip. With long-buried secrets coming to light and an attraction to Isabelle de Florian’s grandson growing too intense to ignore, Cat will have to decide what to let go of, and what to claim as her own.
The amazing thing about this book is that it's so great and hard to put down, and it's from a debut author. So that alone is kind of fantastic. The other great thing? Is that having never been to Paris, let alone France, it makes me want to travel there just to get an idea of how overwhelming it would have all been for Cat.
Cat, an orphaned New Yorker who is living a pretty great life with her boyfriend, Christian is surprised one day by a package from France delivered at her door. Right from the beginning, Christian and Cat don't seem like they fit together, he's a socialite working his way up the ladder as a merchant banker and Cat hates the current job she has and would love to have her own photography and art studio, and loves all things vintage. Anyways. She gets this package and after making some calls, is told she actually has to come to France to get any more details and an explanation for the key in the package.
As it turns out, her grandmother's friend has passed away and seemingly left her entire estate to Cat. Well, really to her grandmother Virginia, but she passed away as has Cat's mother Bonnie, so it's then left to Cat. Once she goes to the apartment left to her, she meets the grandson of the owner. Clearly, he's French and gorgeous, and not quite angry that it's been left to Cat but just as curious as she to find out why. Upon going into the apartment, which clearly had not been entered since the 1940's, they are literally stepping into time. The entire apartment is furnished with valuable antiques and possibly a one of a kind, prized painting worth millions. Cat is overwhelmed, as is Loic (the grandson), and she insists that she not keep it, clearly it was meant to remain in the family.
And so begins the untangling of this mystery.
So much history about social norms back when this would have been a well lived in apartment, the war at the time and the fear and uncertainty residents had- would Nazi Germany invade France and if they did, would they be able to leave in time?
All the while we have a bubbling romance between Cat and Loic, while Cat struggles with her upcoming wedding to Christian.
I can't get into too much more without completely ruining the last third of the book but it is lovely. It's so great, and the answer to the mystery is absolutely fascinating. To think of the fear that Loic's grandmother would have felt given the circumstances she found herself in, the actions she took from then on make absolute sense. It makes you think none of us really know our own history- how can we be sure what we were told is truth?
Right now this is FREE at a Kindle Limited Edition, so if you are looking for a book rich in history, this is definitely something you should add to your list. There is also a Facebook page for the book as well as a website (which is absolutely fascinating with some photos to give you a better visualization while reading).