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Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  8,396 ratings  ·  1,603 reviews
New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War.

August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the hol
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ebook, 400 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Marta Have you read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? If you enjoyed Last Christmas in Paris, you will love it, I think!! It’s a delight. P…moreHave you read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? If you enjoyed Last Christmas in Paris, you will love it, I think!! It’s a delight. Please let me know if you read it! (less)

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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  8,396 ratings  ·  1,603 reviews


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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
I slept on my star rating, and I am still feeling the love today. 💗 Sometimes I need to sleep on it to see how long a story stays with me. Evie and Tom’s story is still with me.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 5 romantic Paris stars to Last Christmas in Paris, my 2017 birthday read! 🎈🎂 🎁 🍰 🎉

I saved this gem of a book for the holidays, and as they got closer, I knew that I would be starting a new book on my birthday. I wanted a special read for that occasion, and this most definitely was it. Told in the epistola
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Christine
4.5 stars (rounded to 5 stars)

I tripped across this book quite by accident. It was featured in one of those “Before You Go…” ads at the end of a kindle book. The cover caught my eye, and since it’s December and I’m on a historical fiction kick, I went for it.

This is an epistolary novel, meaning it is written in letters. There is correspondence from every year of World War I, 1914 through 1918. In addition, between each year, there is a chapter set in December 1968, featuring one of the main char
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Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
Evie Elliott watches her brother Will and his best friend, Thomas, leave for Europe to serve in World War I. The three of them are very close and have never been separated. Evie is naive and believes that everyone will be together for a Christmas reunion in Paris. The three of them stay in contact via letters, and these communications become the fabric and timeline for the story.

Evie is frustrated with her life as a young woman and is also unsettled with the lack of “real” news reported by the
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Paula
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Paula by: Bookclub
Last Christmas in Paris is a book of letters written between two friends during WWI. It’s romantic, historical, and frilly. Some in my bookclub thought it was a tear jerker, whereas, for me nothing of the sort. This is just not my genre.

Glad you enjoyed, Linda!

2 out of 5 stars
Kate Quinn
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Got a chance to read an ARC of this one for a cover quote! My review and quote:

This joint collaboration between authors Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor is a gripping epistolary novel in the tradition of Letters from Skye and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Beginning with heartbreaking gaiety at the start of the First World War, "Last Christmas In Paris" follows a progression of letters between a spirited female journalist, a bookish new-minted soldier, and the various bright yo
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Karen
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It’s not easy to tell a story simply by using an epistolary format. It has been successfully done before (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) immediately springs to mind but I’m delighted to say that these two authors have pulled this off magnificently, Last Christmas in Paris is a gorgeous read and I loved it.

With the occasional interruption into a change of timeline set in 1968, Last Christmas in Paris is told entirely through letters (and telegrams) during the years of 1914-191
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Trish at Between My Lines
This review was originally posted on Between My Lines



I'm starting this review with a very bold statement, but I stand over it with all my heart.  Last Christmas in Paris is my book of the year for 2017.  I don't care that it's only the beginning of November, I doubt any book I've yet to read this year will mean as much to me.

5 reasons I loved Last Christmas in Paris
heart icon The entire book is letters.  Love letters, angry letters, duty letters.  Letters that cover every human emotion and I treasur
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Pamela
"How wonderful to celebrate Christmas with you, even a quiet one . . . I'll remember it always . . the way the firelight lit your face . . . If only I could bottle you up and take you with me when I return to the Front."

If I were to say: "Oh My Heavenly stars, I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS BOOK!!!! I wish I had the money to BUY ALL MY FRIENDS A COPY!" Such splendidly seamless, atmospheric writing; endearing, enthralling, and deeply effecting. And characters that are so richly drawn I felt as if they wer
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Holly
Jan 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
*4.5 ⭐️

Very good! I don’t know why I love stories that take place during WW1 & WW11, they just end up making me sad. Anyway, I loved the epistolary format but at times I felt it was a bit too long. Loved the story though.
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Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-books
*https://mrsbbookreviews.wordpress.com
I have read a handful of epistolary novels over the years and it was a pure joy to read Last Christmas In Paris, an exceptionally well executed novel that employs this structure. The authors of Last Christmas In Paris, renowned historical fiction writers Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb, are now the best of friends, after they collaborated to compose this unforgettable tale of love, in the face of the Great War. These two authors have nailed the characters and
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Sonja Yoerg
War changes everything--individuals, relationships, priorities, dreams--so it's not surprising that stories set in wartime are so popular and, in this case, so engrossing. In Last Christmas in Paris, best friends Will and Tom head off to fight the Germans, leaving behind Will's sister, Evie, and, soon enough, the hope of a Christmas homecoming. By the end of the war five years later, these young, spirited characters and their circle of loved ones have experienced the full spectrum of human trage ...more
The Lit Bitch
Sep 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

When this one came up for review, I almost passed on it. I am not entirely sure why…..maybe because it was up for review in September and I wasn’t ready to start thinking about anything Christmas related until at least November.

Or maybe it was because it was a collaboratively written novel, or that the title wasn’t grabbing me. I don’t know, for some reason I almost passed but I am terribly glad that I didn’t pass on this one!

Let me just say, I loved this novel. It’s a novel written ba
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Cindy Burnett
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Last Christmas in Paris is a dual timeline story told predominantly through letters and telegrams. The majority of the letters are written between Evie Elliott and her brother Will’s best friend Thomas Harding. The authors do an incredible job describing the horrors of war both on the battlefield and at home while also detailing the relationship developing between Evie and Tom. The story unfolds at the right pace, and I was constantly turning pages to see what was going to happen next.

My favori
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DJ Sakata
Favorite Quotes:

Marrying Charlie would be rather like marrying a broken carriage clock. How the hours would drag.

I feel like an unworn dress, hanging limply in the closet, without purpose or shape or form.

I’ve already lost an innocence I didn’t know I possessed.

Do you remember Lloyd George’s rousing speech “The war to end all wars”? They said it would be over by Christmas. They didn’t say which one though, did they?

You’re a star, Evie. About the only light I see in these endless nights.

My Review
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Erin
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Find this and other reviews at: https://historicalfictionreader.blogs...

I caught wind of Last Christmas in Paris in March 2017 when the cover started circling social media. I’d read and enjoyed both Heather Webb and Hazel Gaynor, but it was the subject matter that caught my attention. I’m a junkie when it comes to war era literature and couldn’t wait to get a copy of my own.

The story itself is relayed through the correspondence of the novel’s cast and while I know the format doesn’t appeal to ev
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Cheryl
The year is 1968 when an elderly Englishman who is nearing the end of his life, decides to make one final trip to Paris at Christmastime. He brings with him a large packet of letters. His days are spent peacefully as he reads the letters and reminisces about the course his life has taken.

Set against the backdrop of World War I, this beautifully written novel is told through letters exchanged between a young Englishwoman and her brother and her close friends. It is a historical novel but more th
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Scott  Hitchcock
May 16, 2018 rated it did not like it
1.5*'s

I didn't realize upon starting this book that it was going to be letters back and forth between characters for its entirety. Books that rely on letters or emails as a high percentage of the content drive me absolutely nuts because I never get a connection to any of the characters. No empathy bleeds through. It's a flat intonation format that reads like a work email from a colleague.

If you don't mind that format you may like the story.
Suzy
A WWI veteran looks back on his years in the war during the Christmas holiday in the waning year of his life (1968). He travels one more time to his apartment in Paris with his nurse and through his reminiscences, we experience what the war was like for the soldiers in France and what it was like for those left behind. Thomas Harding and his best friend Will enlisted early in the war, and as we know from history, England thought it would be over by Christmas. Well, it was over by Christmas, almo ...more
Krista
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, war, bookclub
P.S. I had a dream last night that we were in Paris for Christmas. You, me, Will, Alice. The snow fell in thick fat flakes as we strolled along the Champs-Élysées, the lights of the Eiffel Tower twinkling in the distance. It was the most perfect dream, Thomas. I know we will get there one day. I promise we will.

Last Christmas in Paris was a book club pick for me, and while it's not the sort of thing I'd typically pick up, I am always game to read something outside of my comfort zone. Unfortu
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Caz
I've given this an A+ for narration and a B+ for content at AudioGals

Last Christmas in Paris is a beautifully written, superbly narrated epistolary novel which centres around the correspondence exchanged between three friends during the years of the First World War. I suspect the degree to which any listener will enjoy the story will depend on whether one enjoys novels that consist entirely of letters; personally, I’m a big fan of that literary device, so that, added to the fact that I have a pa
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Camille Maio
Oct 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Books like this should come with a warning: You might finish this while on a train and cry your eyes out, thus embarrassing yourself. Wonderful book and the letter-writing format was a refreshing way to read a story. I will definitely be recommending this one.
DeAnn
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to DeAnn by: Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Shelves: 2018
I adored this tale of WWI and letters shared between childhood friends Evie and Tom that eventually deepen their relationship. Hazel Gaynor is a talented historical writer and this was a special treat to read right before Christmas.

Evie stays behind while her brother and his best friend go off to join the war efforts in France. Through letters exchanged by these three and also Evie's friend Alice, we get a rich picture of what life was like back in London as well as in France during the war. Evi
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Laura
Beautifully written WW1 story all told through letters and telegrams. The main characters were endearing, the details of war taught me a lot about the time period without being gruesome, and the love story was oh, so sweet. I liked how Evie and Tom shared a love for literature and writing and I adored how Evie sketched birds and they spoke of them throughout their letters. I have a soft spot for books written in epistle format, and I loved this one.

I think people who enjoy WW1 stories, those wh
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Tammy
I loved Last Christmas in Paris! I loved the letter format and felt like I was reading letters from my loved ones.
April (Getting Hygge With It)
I bawled my eyes out at the end! Like full out ugly crying. What a great read! There was a romance story in here and I didn't mind it which is VERY RARE for me.
Jennifer
Dec 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good! A beautiful love story told through a series of letters. Recommended for fans of Downton Abbey. 4.5 stars
Asheley
4.5/5

Last Christmas in Paris begins in 1968 with Thomas Harding traveling back to Paris for his last Christmas (no spoiler there, see title) with a bundle of letters, a nurse, and failing health. He settles in at his Paris apartment to reminisce over those letters, and the other part of the story is then told: beginning in 1914 when Thomas goes to fight in World War I and continues thru the end of the war in 1918. The 1968-POV elicits emotion because it is clear that Thomas is near the end and t
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Julie  Durnell
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nicely written episolatory novel, it did seem to drag on but understandably so, as war is horribly interminable. I believe the essence of the slow budding romance between friends, Evie and Tom, is summed up perfectly when Evie writes to Tom - "How strange that we have known each other for so many years and know so many little things about each other, and yet only in these past months, since writing to you, do I feel that I've really begun to know you at all. Letters make one uncommonly honest ...more
Donna
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an epistolary novel set during WWI. I'm not a complete fan of that format, but it completely worked in this book. When it started, I thought, "OH NO!" It didn't take long before I fell into sync with it. I liked the characters. I thought the authors worked well together in creating them. I also liked the era. It seemed a little modern at times, but I liked that.

Now I'll say that this was sweet, predictable, and it was even a romance...all things which make me cringe. So I have to laugh h
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Jenny
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful book about the trials and relationships during WWl. I loved that the authors used letters to tell this lovely story. Highly recommend!!!
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Hazel Gaynor is an award-winning New York Times, USA Today, Irish Times, and international bestselling author. Her 2014 debut THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME won the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award, A MEMORY OF VIOLETS was a 2015 WHSmith Fresh Talent pick, THE GIRL FROM THE SAVOY was shortlisted for the 201 Irish Book Awards, and THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER'S DAUGHTER was shortlisted for the 2019 HWA ...more

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