Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I
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 ...more
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 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 ...more
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 ...more
Evie is frustrated with her life as a young woman and is also unsettled with the lack of “real” news reported by the ...more
Glad you enjoyed, Linda!
2 out of 5 stars
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 ...more
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 ...more
5 reasons I loved Last Christmas in Paris
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.
The entire book is letters. Love letters, angry letters, duty letters. Letters that cover every human emotion and I treasur ...more
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 ...more
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. ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
My favori ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
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.
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 ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
I think people who enjoy WW1 stories, those wh ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more