Synopses & Reviews
From the grand master of the historical novel comes a dazzling epic portrait of Paris that leaps through centuries as it weaves the tales of families whose fates are forever entwined with the City of Lights.
As he did so brilliantly in London: The Novel and New York: The Novel, Edward Rutherfurd brings to life the most magical city in the world: Paris.
This breathtaking multigenerational saga takes readers on a journey through thousands of years of glorious Parisian history — from its founding under the Romans to the timeless love story of Abelard and Heloise against the backdrop of the building of Notre Dame; to the martyrdom of Joan of Arc during the Hundred Years War; to the dangerous manipulations of Cardinal Richelieu and the bloody religious conflicts between Catholics and Protestants; to the gilded glories of Versailles; to the horrors of the French Revolution and the conquests of Napoleon; to the beauty and optimism of the belle epoque when Impressionism swept the world; to the hotbed of cultural activity of the 1920s and '30s that included Picasso, Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway, and the writers of the Lost Generation; to the Nazi occupation and the incredible efforts of the French Resistance.
Even more richly detailed, thrilling, and romantic then anything Rutherfurd has written before, Paris: The Novel illuminates thousands of years in the City of Lights through intimate and vivid tales of characters both fictional and true, and with them, the sights, scents, and tastes of Paris come to sumptuous life.
"Anyone who has ever visited Paris or desires to do so will definitely want to dig into this movable feast. Both Paris, the venerable City of Light, and Rutherfurd, the undisputed master of the multigenerational historical saga, shine in this sumptuous urban epic." Booklist
"Rutherfurd's sense of epic sweep is admirable." Kirkus
“Paris has been both good and bad to the aristocratic de Cygne family over the centuries. While one generation was welcome at the nearby court of Versailles, another faced the guillotine during the Reign of Terror. Edward Rutherfurd's latest historical novel tracks the de Cygnes and a few other families in Paris from 1261 to 1968 as the city evolves from a medieval outpost to world-class metropolis. His primary focus is on the cohort born later in the 19th century who grew up to witness the existential threat to Paris in two world wars. Aside from the noble de Cygnes, the book follows the merchant Blanchard family, the working-class Gascons and the lefty Le Sourd clan. Action jumps from their day to points in the past. The fates of the families intersect over the centuries like lines on a Paris subway map. The churches, gardens and back alleys of long-ago Paris are revealed through the characters' eyes….The last part of the book, is set in occupied Paris during World War II. In this long, climactic section, Rutherfurd succeeds best at describing not just the buildings and gardens of Paris, but also the actual mood of the city under Nazi rule. Some of the characters respond heroically, another cynically, leading to a familial reckoning that is both tense and enjoyable to read.” Associated Press
About the Author
Edward Rutherfurd is the internationally bestselling author of seven novels, including the New York Times bestsellers New York, London, The Princes of Ireland, and The Rebels of Ireland.