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Cinema Lumiere

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  295 ratings  ·  55 reviews
What if someone had secretly made a film of your life?

Hannah Bailey has resigned herself to a dead-end job, she’s sealed her heart against love and her catastrophic thinking is out of control. In fact, she’s hard pushed to find a single reason for her existence – until the day she stumbles across a tiny one-seated cinema and its mysterious French owner Victor Lever…

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Paperback, first edition, 384 pages
Published September 24th 2014 by Red Door Publishing
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3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  295 ratings  ·  55 reviews

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Alice-Elizabeth (marriedtobooks)
Hannah Bailey has sealed her heart against love, she’s resigned herself to a dead-end job and her catastrophic thinking is out of control. In fact, she’s hard pushed to find a single reason for her existence until the day she stumbles across a tiny cinema with just one seat… Cinema Lumière doesn’t screen Hollywood blockbusters or even low budget art-house flicks. Instead it shows people films of their lives. But how does its mysterious French owner Victor create such unique biopics and why is he ...more
“Every story has a second part, where we can put right what did not work before.” I thoroughly enjoyed this Goodreads First Reads giveaway win. Edmonds’s debut reminded me of a couple of great novels I read last year that are also on the verge of chick lit (but manage to stay just the right side of that dividing line, in my opinion): What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin and Delicious! by Ruth Reichl. In all three, the female protagonist is a magazine writer struggling to find purpose and true love ...more
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Plot Device Over-used

The relationship between the main character and Victor (70 year old film-lover) is sweet. So is her relationship with Joe. However, by constantly keeping information from the reader at bay while hinting at its existence and not revealing it until the very end of the story, just doesn't work well. There is another more surprise at the end of the book and it would have been better to clue the reader in earlier in the book to the big secret and leaving the other (sweeter) surpr
Lynda Kelly
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: deleted
This sounded highly interesting reading the description on Amazon. However, I'd got 20% in and we'd hardly touched on this cinema and the supposed film of Hannah's life and I just ended up glazing over, getting fed up waiting for it to get going, really.
There were some very funny lines in it and hardly a mistake that I'd seen, just a missed comma or two. This might have been an error too, since I couldn't find anything to explain what this means-"...linear nplots and predictable scripts".
I was v
Cathy Bryant
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I love this book so much that I want to marry it and have its babies....and I don't even like Truffaut. I prefer narrative to Nouvelle Vague, though we do like a few directors in common - Wim Wenders, Abel Gance and so on.
Anyway - yes, I did get this free in a Goodreads giveaway, but as anyone who reads my reviews knows, I am a sour witch and getting a book free by no means guarantees a good review.I adored this, though, and I can't find anything really bad to say about it, try as I might.
One jo
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cinema Lumiere is quite different to other books I have read recently and I have really enjoyed the change of pace to be honest. This is a beautifully written story of real life, friendship, love, loss, regrets and trying to move on from the past.
Hannah Bailey is a very likeable character. I warmed to her straight away. She obviously doesn't love her job, but like a lot of people, just gets on with it as bills have to be paid. I liked the friendship she builds with Ian when he starts to work wit
Rosie Amber
Nov 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Hannah and her dog Nellie live in the famous Portobello area of London. Nellie is a British Bull Dog with greedy tendencies which lead to funny unfortunate smelling side-effects. Nellie has a starring sub-role throughout the book.

Hannah writes articles for a Health and Wellbeing magazine, a dead-end job but unless she can find out what she'd really like to do in life, she's stuck here, testing free samples and writing about them along with new recruit Ian. Their working relationship is fun and u
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Clever funny and thought-provoking novel about woman wrestling with her past and future and a very curious a cinema with only one seat. Themes of love, ambition, friendship and acceptance. In turn laugh out loud funny, and mysterious. Really nice read.
Alexa Sebring
Mar 21, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I got 60% through this book and just couldn't do it anymore. There is a whole lot of nothing going on and if there were more silly bits with Nellie in them I could probably keep reading. But there aren't so I can't. It's just too boring.
I could not continue with this book. For me (and everyone is different) I could not connect with the characters. So have put this to the side and maybe will try again later.
Jessica Berry
So, I have a lot of thoughts about this book. It’s not terrible, but it is not at all what the synopsis describes it to be. The whole idea of a strange movie theater that shows you a movie of your life, it’s actually got a cool sci-fi quality to it. I would’ve loved to read that book. Instead I read a very long book about a woman trying to figure her life out, and she visits this theater in only 2 or 3 short scenes. And in only one of those visits is the movie about her life. Again, it’s not a b ...more
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I got bored with this about 1/3 of the way through, debated quitting, and then just skimmed the rest of it. Overall, it was a dull read. The secret she keeps hinting at isn’t anything as big as what you’re lead to believe, so the ending was anti-climactic. She suddenly has all these epiphanies and now all her emotional and mental issues are gone? That’s not how life works.
Jun 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read which kept me guessing about outcomes. Well-written and it connected with me. Great dog.
Mar 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well written but a very predictable end. 3 and a half stars.
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful insightful book.

Wonderful insightful read. Funny, sad, happy, and more. No spoiler alerts, just be prepared to bring a tissue for the tears of joy and sadness.
Suze Lavender
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hannah works for a magazine she isn't interested in. The only thing she likes about her job is her shy new colleague Ian. They get along well and they love going out for lunch together. After a bad relationship Hannah finally might be ready to date again and Joe could be the man for her, but Hannah has a past that's bothering her and it's hard for her to open up to someone. She finds solace with her friend Victor in Cinema Lumière, a small cinema that shows unique films. Hannah is being shown th ...more
Jul 20, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I was given the chance to read Cinema Lumiere I was very very excited. I loved the sound of the blurb and it felt unlike anything I've ever read before. I also thought the cover was really cute so I couldn't wait to start reading!

Now I don't know whether this book was supposed to have an element of magical realisim but it felt like that for me. The book was divided into two timelines...the present and the past and it changed between the two throughout...

Hannah works for a Health and Wellbe
Wendy Janes
Apr 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hannah’s life is going nowhere. She dislikes her job, she distrusts her heart, her relationship with her mother is strained, her overactive imagination and her domineering bulldog, Nellie, make every day a struggle. When the mysterious Victor re-enters her life and shows her his indie film of her life, he sets in motion wondrous, painful, hopeful changes.

Hannah is both fragile and feisty. She is generous and selfish, open and secretive. The reasons behind these contradictions are slowly revealed
The Book Eaters
Dec 26, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, gem
The original review, and many other reviews and features, can be found at

Hannah Bailey is busy isolating herself from the all the pain that life can throw at her. She’s had enough of it, the father she adored who left her then died, the perfect boyfriend who decided she didn’t measure up, the disappointing career and the shame she feels about letting down a friend.

But life won’t be pushed away so easily, a chance encounter with the friend she betrayed leads her to
Dec 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as part of a goodreads giveaway. Firstly I would like to thank Hattie for the lovely message that I received with the book and wish her a Happy New Year. This book was not really what I expected, I was expecting it to start with Hannah, the main character viewing a mysterious film about her life and the consequences of viewing this film and a mystery story about how and why the film had been made. It was not like that it was more about the different relationships that Hannah ...more
Feb 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book about a woman on a journey to discover herself and what love really looks like. At times the writing was completely captivating and the whole idea of the “cinema lumiere” being the enlightening tool to her feelings was done very well. Though I wished the author spent more time highlighting this aspect of the story. I enjoyed seeing Hannah’s growth as she tries to move forward from her past and truly embrace who she is. The ending was touching and little unexpected. I l ...more
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spiritual, friendship
I loved this book. If I didn't love it so much I could see where I might have said it was a little predictable, and the characters pushed the limits of annoying, but it absolutely enchanted me, so those things didn't matter to me at all.
I love the story, the "deeper" story, and the lessons (or reminders) I knew I was getting but didn't mind because they just seemed so much a part of the story and not something put in there to teach me.
This is just one of those books that worked for me on just ab
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: who-needs-sleep
This was a good story, but...

I didn't find it funny. I found it overwhelmingly sad. It probably doesn't help that I'm reading it at this time of year; it's a personal thing. That being said, I am better for having read this. It's reminded me to examine my life and to treasure every moment. Sometimes I feel lost, like Hannah. Although I know what my passions are, I'm not really sure how to follow them at present. I think part of the reason I found this book so painful to read was that I can relat
Jan 13, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I quite enjoyed this little London more than a chick flick book. It trod a familiar path ie the London chick lit but also some of my old haunts. It talked of my first love - the cinema and its many guises. It had the comic genius presence - Nellie the British Bulldog all no manners but huge personality. Great dialogue, not a cast of thousands but a good strong and believable cast and the twist that adds heart, quite a few really to make the story more 'normal'.
Its no literatory classic but its
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a captivating and delightful read. This book will make you laugh, cringe, and cry. The characters captured me from the first chapter until the end. I love how Nellie is treated like a real person with thoughts and emotions, and will definitely keep you in stitches throughout the book. I definitely was anxious to know the mystery in this book and what happened between Hannah, Victor and Luke. The ending leaves quite a surprising twist. I highly recommend this book. I am looking forward to re ...more
Daisy Evans
Oct 22, 2014 rated it liked it
I did enjoy reading this, over a travelling weekend it was a nice place to turn to. The setting was familiar - Kensal Green Cemetry and the Upper Portobello. Three time frames was good if at times confusing and again maybe she could have made more of the themes of repression - her own repression of "the mentals" - just once she perhaps she could have acted them out. On the other hand it was a deeply personal book I feel especially regarding the various male characters and her dealings with them. ...more
RedDoor Publishing
This is a truly engrossing read. From the first page, we were drawn into Hannah's life, loves, regrets and pain. At once funny and heartbreaking, Cinema Lumiere is a novel about recovery, about friendship and above all, about the prevailing power of love. On finishing the novel we felt a sense of sadness for the loss of a host of relatable characters, and joy for the possibilities of what is to come for them.
Clare Hudson
Hmm - would have given this a 2.5 if I could - somewhere between 'it was OK' and ' liked it'.
Yes, I did like the story, but think I must have missed clues or part of the plot 'cos I didn't really get the impression that Victor was showing her a film of her actual life...just snippets which made her sit up and think about her past, present and putting things right with, for example, her mother.
Nice story... but I'm sure I've missed something here :(
Feb 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best book I've read in a long, long time. I really liked the characters- especially the bulldog (I loved how the author made the dog feel like it was a human character). Although I guessed the ending of the book (don't worry, I won't tell you) about halfway through, I still really liked where the story went. I was laughing and crying throughout this book. I definitely recommend this one!
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It Grew On Me

The first time I began this book, I put it down, thinking it was just too much fluff. Usually I discard books like that, but for some reason, I didn't this time. The second time I opened it, Cinema Lumière grabbed my attention, and I pushed through the first, light and fluffy bit, and it began to grow on me.

The novel is about memory, love and taking the risk to love again after betrayal. It is worth reading after all.
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Hattie Holden Edmonds has held down a variety of jobs ranging from junior assistant on Separates in Clements department store, to hat maker and music hack on a German pop magazine. She was the in-house writer at Comic Relief for three years, working on projects with amongst others, Richard Curtis, Sacha Baron Cohen and Armando Iannucci.
She also runs a part time and very rickety cinema from a fish
“but her hairbrush, her faded pink Carmen Rollers, her powder compact – I can’t bring myself to even pick them up. Years of her using them means that each one carries a trace of her, like an echo, and if I touch them the echo will fade.” 1 likes
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