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The Light of Paris

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  7,307 ratings  ·  1,030 reviews
The miraculous new novel from New York Times–bestselling author Eleanor Brown, whose debut, The Weird Sisters, was a sensation beloved by critics and readers alike.
Madeleine is trapped—by her family's expectations, by her controlling husband, and by her own fears—in an unhappy marriage and a life she never wanted. From the outside, it looks like she has everything, but on
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Average rating 3.62  · 
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 ·  7,307 ratings  ·  1,030 reviews

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25% of the way in and sadly, I'm doing to DNF this one.

I remember thoroughly enjoying The Weird Sisters and recall it was a smart, well-written book. Unfortunately this book is very different. It's told in two parts -- a 1924 story of Margie and a 1999 story of Madeleine. Margie's story is written in what I can only describe as "YA style" and Madeleine's story is a "beach read" at best.

Other reviewers are enjoying this and giving it high marks, so I would encourage readers to seek out reviews o
Jun 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Really wanted to love this book as I loved her "Weird Sisters," but finally, bitterly, reluctantly gave up on this repetitive whinefest of upper-class women claiming to be trapped by their lives, their mommies, and their societies' expectations. The trope of "my mother doesn't love me"/"I don't look right"/"my life traps me" kept coming up so often--nearly word for word--that it felt like each chapter was reintroducing itself. Oh--and, brace yourself: apparently adolescence and high school can b ...more
Dec 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I can't stop thinking about this book. It is exquisitely written with so many layers. I read the first 6 pages about a dozen times because it was so beautiful. It is the story of two women in different times, Margie in 1920s Paris and her granddaughter Madeleine. Both are unhappy until they find the courage to change their lives. It's about coming to terms with who you are and accepting yourself. I can't wait until this book is out July 12, 2016. It will reach into your soul.
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
It had Paris in the title and an Eiffel Tower on the cover...I'm helpless in the face of these things to stop myself from nabbing this book.

It didn't take long for me to realize that this book was going to be a disappointment. Both of the main characters, 1999-era Madeleine and her grandmother Margie, disparage themselves and undermine themselves and allow themselves to be manipulated and make bad decisions in order to go along with others. These ladies don't even like themselves; how could the
Aug 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Imagine how our lives would have turned out if we hadn’t been afraid. I loved Sebastian, and Henry these men both sexy, and alive with dreams and happiness. The women, three generations, all suffering from making choices based on fear and peoples judgement. Finally one of them has broken the pattern and becoming who she could be.
This a multiple generational story about love, adventure, obligations, control, sacrifice, broken dreams, conformity and finally happiness. Freedom, has it’s price, and
Olivia Gaughan
Apr 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
If I could I would rate this book a 4.5/5! I loved reading about art and Paris, and I liked reading about how life was like in 1924 compared to life in 1999. Brown did an excellent job creating/crafting the characters and describing the different lifestyles between the grandmother and granddaughter! This novel reminds me to make sure I live the life I want to and to chase my dreams!
Judy D Collins
Inspired by a grandmother’s time in Paris, Eleanor Brown (Weird Sisters) eloquently transports readers in THE LIGHT OF PARIS -two generations of women-being true to oneself, a journey of self-discovery. Grabbing life and joy. Freedom. Having the heart and courage to be who we really are.

The audiobook, narrated by Cassanda Campbell (one of my favorite narrators), delivered an award-winning performance, a perfect voice for three generations of women. From food, art, culture, gardens, creativi
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
When you read this book you are reading about two women, one in the present and the other in the past. Madeleine is in her thirties in 1999 and her grandmother Margie is in her twenties in 1920. Despite living in different generations many of their issues are similar. One is trapped in a loveless marriage the other by unrealistic parental expectations.

What I liked about the book was that the chapters alternated between the two stories and two different time periods. Even though the two character
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016, adult, romance, arc
I was so excited to be offered a copy of The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown. Any story that transports me to that lovely city is one I’m always eager to dive into. Having never been and journeying with these characters as Margie had the experience of a life time makes me long to visit one day! Eleanor Brown truly knows how to catapult her readers into her story and have them feel like they are traveling right alongside her characters.

In this story, Madeleine finds herself in a marriage that wa
Aug 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Just ok. The story didn't stand out for me. A woman finds her grandmother's journals packed away in the attic and discovers that she was once a very different woman than the one she'd known. Who hasn't read that before?
A love story in Paris during the Jazz Age ...of course I was drawn to that! But I found the main character of modern day, Madeline, to be almost pathetic at times. She is "trapped" in her rich girl, loveless, and controlling marriage. Her mother's disapproval & her acceptance of
Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Madeleine is stuck in a loveless marriage with a controlling husband. She finds herself to be not only unhappy, but she no longer paints, which is the thing that she loves the most in life. Her husband controls every aspect of her life and the worst part about it is the fact that she lets him. She escapes for a few days to her hometown to visit her mother and she comes across her grandmother's old journals. Her grandmother was a very elegant woman, the very opposite of Madeleine, but that wasn't ...more
Renee Rosen
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While very different from her debut THE WEIRD SISTERS, Eleanor Brown does not disappoint in her new novel. This story of a granddaughter and grandmother, sweeping back and forth between two time periods is so skillfully handled, the author knows exactly what she's doing and the reader is delighted to keep turning the pages. The writing is beautiful, the characters vivid, the story compelling. I can't wait to see what Brown writes next!
Carol Brill
Here's my review of The Light of Paris for New York Journal of Books ...more
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Eleanor Brown was inspired to write this novel after reading letters that belonged to her own grandmother. The Light of Paris is a dual time novel: Madeleine in the 1990's and Margie ( Marguerite) in the 1920's. Both women want desperately to live their own lives, not the life prescribed by their families. I especially enjoyed Margie's life in Paris, even though it was only a few months. (KUYH February 2017 Travel challenge).

"Never be caught without something to read." Madeleine's section
Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5/5 I loved how Madeleine who always felt that she didn't belong in her family, found out in the end that perhaps her dreams follow her maternal grandmother more than she knew.

I loved seeing Paris from Margie's fresh eyes and how she was able to find herself there. Unfortunately for her and that time period, there wasn't much for her to come back to but marriage and obligation.

Madeleine had always struggled to find her place in the world and so she did what her parents wanted her to do, settl
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, historical
Originally posted on Desert Island Book Reviews

The Light of Paris alternates between two stories: Madeleine’s story set in the southern U.S. in 1999 and her grandmother Margie’s story set primarily in Jazz-Age Paris. Each woman must figure out living the life that makes her happiest while balancing the expectations of their families and society.

It’s hard to write a real synopsis of this story without giving too much away, but basically it’s half women’s fiction and half historical fiction, with
Amanda - Cover2CoverMom
Jun 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley, 2018
You can read all of my reviews on my blog -> Cover2CoverMom

The Light of Paris includes two timelines with two distinct women: Margie in the 1920s and Madeleine in 1999. In the more recent timeline, Madeleine seemingly has it all – the perfect husband, wealth, high society – but behind closed doors Madeleine craves more from life than being her husband’s arm piece. One day Madeleine stumbles upon her Grandmother’s diary from her early 20s when she traveled to Paris. Madeleine soon discovers that
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

One of the best ways for any author or publisher to tempt me with a book is to mention that it's a dual-time narrative and that one of the eras is the 1920s (or the 1960s, I adore them both!). When I read the blurb about The Light of Paris and saw mention of 1920s Jazz Age Paris, I knew that this was a story for me.

The Light of Paris is an absolute joy to read. Eleanor Brown's two lead characters, Madeleine and Margie are separated by seventy years, yet they have so many things in common. Madele
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
It was perfect that I read this book as I set off on vacation in July. My trip was ending with a 3 day stay in Paris. My first time visiting. I must say, I really enjoyed the dual time line of this book. Madeleine in present day and Margie in Jazz Age Paris. Madeleine is unhappy in her marriage, but feels stuck, not sure what she wants to do. After a nasty argument with her controlling husband, Madeleine escapes to her childhood home, but she and her mother have never had the best relationship, ...more
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Could be subtitled "for over privileged white girls who have considered whining when their cushy assed lives could have been far more than enough". This is one story told twice. The grandmother and the granddaughter are interchangeable. They both complain about being forced to go to college. Boo hoo. They whine about not getting to be writers or artists, all the while not having day to day jobs other than volunteering for rich lady committees. Sucks to be them. You know what? Poor people also ha ...more
Kim Swartz
Aug 07, 2017 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this book but the main character was so self-absorbed, insecure and whiny it was difficult to care about her.
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it
I both related to and sort of loathed the main (1999) protagonist, and although I liked the other protagonist (in the 1920s) a bit better, both of them were a disappointment. One could be more forgiving of Margaret; she was naive, sheltered, and used to going along to get along. So the fact that she decided to rebel against her parents' wishes and stay in Paris when they wanted her to come home, that she found a job and a place to stay and friends and had the experience she wished to have, at le ...more
Emilie DeVito
Oct 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Some of us do it through wine, or money. No matter how, we’re all trying to escape something”

1924- Margie is raised in a time where women marry so as not to disappoint their family. Women didn’t follow their passion. So when Margie jets off to Paris, begins writing, and falls in love she knows she can never return home.

Flash forward 75 years later to 1999; Madeleine, Margie’s great grand daughter is in a similar situation. Her husband doesn’t let her paint, comments on her weight and what she
The descriptions of 1920s Paris were wonderful --- they made me want to go back!
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Back in 2012 I read Eleanor Brown's debut novel The Weird Sisters and I adored it. It was a fantastic read, although I will confess that it was probably, in parts, a bit too high brow for me. I probably missed a lot of context in the novel, it was written so lyrically, but I loved it. It was such a good read. So much so, that I've been hankering after a new Eleanor Brown book for years. I thought one was coming a year after The Weird Sisters, but that was Amazon being tinkers. Instead it has bee ...more
Jul 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book

Audiofile provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

This is a story about women and the gilded cage. It is told in split time: Madeleine in 1999 USA and her grandmother, Margie, in 1924 USA and Paris. Both women yearn to be creative, but are tied down by family and society and the creature comforts offered by wealth.

Here’s the deal
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Light in Paris was the first book that I've read by Eleanor Brown. I enjoyed it so much that I just ordered her first book (The weird Sisters) from Amazon.

This novel is told from two viewpoints in alternating chapters - Madeleine in 1999 and her grandmother Margie in 1919. Both women had so much in common because they were both being forced by their parents and society to conform to the norms of their times and to become someone different than wanted to be. Madeleine is trapped in a loveless
thanks to netgalley and the publishers for a free copy in return for open and honest review.
this is a story of a grandmother and grand daughter in different era's and the grand daughter reads her grandmother's journals when she is in Paris in 1924 and sees her in a different light, as the book shifts between 1919-1924 and 1999. had a slight problem with the style of writing of this novel and felt it wasn't as good as the weird sisters as felt toned down
Feb 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book much better than I did. It is two parallel stories of woman and her grandmother one modern and one set in Paris in the 1920s. It is a literacy structure I enjoy but it fell flat here. I liked the grandmother's story. The character seemed believable and the writing vibrant. The granddaughter however seemed contrived and weak. Even her redemption seems unimpressive.
Murat Aydogdu
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a pleasant read! This book is about happiness, expectations, life choices, finding self, and of course Paris! I read it fast. The main character, Madeleine, is in an unhappy marriage with a controlling husband, whom she married to escape her controlling mother. She comes across her grandmother's diaries in her childhood home (the book takes turns between the two generations) which she reads and uses for reevaluating her own life choices. And, there is a positive ending!
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Play Book Tag: The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown - 3 stars 2 21 Feb 03, 2017 04:05AM  

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Eleanor Brown is the New York Times and international bestselling author of the novel The Weird Sisters, and of the fitness inspiration book WOD Motivation.

Her next novel, The Light of Paris, will be published in July 2016!

Looking for a safe, supportive place to write? Join Eleanor's writing workshops:

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