‘The Island’ & ‘A Paris Apartment’

By October 13, 2016Book Reviews, Book Reviews

Book Reviews by Cos Barnes

theislandElin Hilderbrand’s national bestseller, “The Island,” is a love story for all the inhabitants of Tuckermuck Island off the coast of Nantucket. The island is where the main character, Birdie, and her family visit every summer.

Daughter Chess abruptly calls off her wedding, which her mother, Birdie, has lavishly planned, including a floating dance floor. Birdie’s ex-husband shows renewed interest in her. Her younger daughter, Tate, who has fought jealously with her sister, Chess, all her life, has a new love she captured with a man she has idolized for years, and younger sister, Andra, grapples with a new and somewhat different romance.

The scene is set for this typical “beach” read. Looking forward to a period of bonding with her daughter Chess, Birdie is stunned by all the new developments within her family.

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book-parisApril Vogt, the main character of “A Paris Apartment,” is a talented assessor of fine furniture and accessories. April is sent by her boss at Sotheby’s to this Paris apartment, which has been shuttered for the past 70 years. As she begins to explore the furnishings and paintings, she discovers a painting by Giovanni Baldini and letters written by the woman in the portrait, Marthe de Florian.

April becomes obsessed with her findings, although she is distracted by her cheating husband back in the states and a family crisis. The story unfolds as the two women’s lives collide, one who was in the Paris of the Belle Epoque, and the present-day April, who speaks French and has a brief affair with a local but never fits in.