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The Lost Carousel of Provence

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  1,450 ratings  ·  278 reviews
An artist lost to history, a family abandoned to its secrets, and the woman whose search for meaning unearths it all in a sweeping and expressive story from the New York Times bestselling author of Letters from Paris .

Long, lonely years have passed for the crumbling Château Clement, nestled well beyond the rolling lavender fields and popular
Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published September 18th 2018 by Berkley
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,450 ratings  ·  278 reviews

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Miranda Reads
Oct 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

One thing was sure: This was not the fairy tale she had been looking for.
Life dealt Cady Drake a rough hand.

Orphaned nearly at birth, she bounced from foster home to foster home throughout her childhood - each time growing more and more jaded.

Cady was a bad seed, through and through. ..that is until she met Maxine, a wonderfully grumpy old women determined to turn that bad seed into something new.

It was then, in the junk shop, during reading lessons and antique restorati

”But no one else pays attention to the quiet carver who fills the halls of the château with the scent of freshly sawn wood and the scrip-scrape tink-tink of her work, her passion, her joy.”

Cady Drake has never really known how a family operates; she’s never really had one. Having been raised in a long string of foster homes, she never knew the feeling of belonging. She is socially awkward, but she does has a friend, Olive, who is always trying to get her to step outside hersel
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Berkley Books) in exchange for an honest review.

This was such a charming and quaint story!

The book started off a bit slow. It took a while for the story to actually take shape and for the historical parts to start making sense (the book has dual storylines, one historical and the other contemporary). But once the main character, Cady, went to France, the story really took off and from there it was magnifique!


I loved the way the author
Katie B
When I finished this book I was left feeling underwhelmed. I guess I was hoping for something more given it had elements that I normally love in stories such as a socially awkward main character and a decades old mystery taking place in Europe. Maybe I have been reading too many of these type of books lately and that's why I didn't really find anything special about this novel.

Cady Drake grew up in the foster care system and is now a photographer in Oakland. She is sent on assignment to France
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Who wouldn’t want to go to Paris and photograph carousels?

Cady was excited to head to Paris when she received the assignment especially since her interest in carousels had begun when she was a child and found Gus.

Gus was a carved carousel rabbit with a secret Cady found hidden inside Gus when he accidentally broke open. The hidden secret had a story of its own, and turned into a mystery that haunted Cady to solve.

Cady was us
Cindy Burnett
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am drawn to stories that take place in France so when I saw The Lost Carousel of Provence I knew I needed to read it (plus the cover is beautiful). I am a fan of one of Juliet Blackwell’s earlier books, The Paris Key, and this book is just as good. I was also intrigued by the subject matter – the carousels of France and the focus on a particular historic, master carver named Gustave Bayol. The mystery is entertaining and intriguing; I knew very little about carousel making, and Blackwell provi ...more
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Intriguing, atmospheric, and uplifting.

The Lost Carousel of Provence is an alluring tale predominantly set in the majestic southeastern region of France during the early 1900s, as well as present day, and is told from three different perspectives. Maelle, an independent, hardworking young woman struggling to showcase her talents and prove her worth in a male-dominated environment. Fabrice, a lonely, elderly man who has sacrificed, endured and lived a life weighed down by deception, regret, and u
Sep 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
*4.5 stars ✨

Thank you to Berkeley Publishing for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Some books you just know that you’re going to love even before reading a single page. This was one of those books for me. Cady has just lost Maxine, who was like a mother to her, at a loss for what to do her friend Olivia suggests going to France. At first Cady is hesitant, until she happens to find an old photograph inside an antique carousel animal. After some persuasion, Cady finds herself in
N.N. Light
Still reeling from the death of her dear friend and the woman who took her in when the world wanted to forget her, Cady Drake is at a loss at what to do with her life. She feels lost and alone. A good friend of hers suggests she take a trip, maybe to Paris, to get a new perspective. Her friend suggests taking her camera and photographing some pictures, maybe for a coffee table book. An idea forms in Cady’s head, one that not only feels right but will change her life.

For as long as she can remem
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dogs, cold-cases, arc
I almost didn't request this book but I am glad I did. I found I got so involved in the storyline, I couldn't put it down instead read far into the night. I had problems reading the parts of the Nazis occupation of France. I felt that Ms. Blackwell did an outstanding job of blending the three-time periods so the story flew together.
Cady Drake is recovering from the death of her mentor and agrees to accept a job in Paris of photographing the carousels of Paris. The story begins in the 1990's of a
Viviane Crystal
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cady Drake has spent her whole life yearning so badly for a family, someone to show her love and to affirm that she was a good, deserving person. Tossed from foster homes to group homes for years, Cady’s dream is never fulfilled. However, the need to survive taught her strength and gave her focus on skills that have made her a photographer who is always in demand, albeit not a famous one. Her fascination is for pictures of carousels from anywhere in the world. A need to escape the aftermath of a ...more
Sep 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Juliet Blackwell's third novel set in France takes readers to Provence in a story that spans more than a century, and a story that spans so much heartbreak. Can an American who never had a family find the way to reunite a bitter, broken man with the family that never accepted him? Blackwell's The Lost Carousel of Provence is a moving story of loss and, in the end, hope.

In 1901, Josephine Clement has everything she could want. Her husband even hires the a famous carousel designer, Gustave Bayol,
Genevieve Graham
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Who amongst us hasn’t thought of carousels with nostalgia?”
That is Juliet Blackwell’s opening remark in the Author’s Note.

I am not sure a carousel has even crossed my mind in a decade (when my daughters were young enough to beg me for tickets), but the title of this novel immediately took me back. I could hear the tinny music, see the lights in the garishly painted ceiling shining on the painted stallions’ furious expressions, recall the wait between rotations before my girls would wave at me
This is one of those easy, enjoyable reads that maybe doesn’t have a lot of weight or heart to it but it’s still really interesting and has a strong vibe to it. It’s funny, when I was reading it nothing really struck me as *strong*. It was just....decent. Decent writing, decent characters (even though I did have some issues with the character development), decent plot, decent history. But I guess the French countryside really stayed with me, because every time I picture a scene from the book it ...more
Oct 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This book was sent to me by the publisher for and honest review and Wow this book was so much more than I expected. I would have finished it in a few days if it wasn't for poor health. This book had five amazing stories all woven together to reveal a bigger picture that transcend language and time. You could not help fall in love with the characters as their individual stories was told. The themes that ran through this book was beautifully depicted as the stories from the past and present collid ...more
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"An artist lost to history, a family abandoned to its secrets, and the woman whose search for meaning unearths it all in a sweeping and expressive story from the New York Times bestselling author of Letters from Paris."
Truly a book with everything in it to make a great read. I love books set in different time periods and this book had 3 and 3 different point of views.
I enjoyed each time period and character greatly and felt placed in that time. The author does a very good job with accurate hist
Kathleen Kelly
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Lost Carousel of Provence is a historical fiction novel about the old carousels in France. Cady Drake, the principal character, is a photographer who was brought up in the foster system and has no family. Passed from family to family and always in trouble, she did end up living with an elderly woman, Maxine, who taught her how to restore antique items. She has an obsession with carousels that leads her to Paris and to the Chateau Clement where a grumpy elderly man, Fabrice Clement, lives. Ca ...more
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
The Lost Carousel of Provence intertwines three stories from 1900, WWII and present day. These stories all revolve around a historic carousel. At the center of the story are American Cady Drake and the French Clement family who originally commissioned the carousel.

The book has themes of family, what makes a family and what it's like to have no family. There is the mystery of the origin of Cady's carousel rabbit as well as mysteries and secrets that surround the Clement family. Then there is the
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a very enjoyable book. It is the story of Cady Drake who grew up in Oakland, CA in the foster system. She was going down the wrong path until she met Maxine, an older woman who ran an antique shop. She saw something in Cady and gave her a home and taught her to read and encouraged her love of photography.

The story opens after Maxine dies suddenly and Cady seems lost again. Her one friend, Olivia encourages her to go to France on a photography assignment to photograph vintage carousels o
Aug 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love reading historical fiction and I love books that are set in France so this book was a perfect read for me. I have seen several of the carousels in Paris that the author mentions but I guess it's time for another trip to Paris to see the rest (don't I wish!)

This is a dual time line story. The early story takes place in Avignon in the early 1900s where a carousel is being built at a chateau for a wealthy French couple. Part of the group of workers who are assembling the carousel is a female
Amy’s Booket List
My Thoughts...

I would definitely call this a character study, but of both the people in the story and the of the setting itself. This is not an action packed plot, but it is full of emotion and angst. The shifting points of view enhance the story, making the bits of mystery and intrigue even more compelling. Sometimes multiple storylines can take away from what I would consider the main narrative, in The Lost Carousel of Provence, the ancillary storylines compliment the Cady’s journey.

The real s
Libby Davies
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
I read an advance copy of The Lost Carousel of Provence as part of my preparations for an upcoming month long stay in Paris, just to help set the mood. Now, of course, I must seek out the Parisian carousels that Cady Drake photographs in the present day segments of the story.

As Cady begins to unravel the mystery of her own carousel creature, the narrative slips into two other eras with characters that relate in some way to her search. Though I usually dislike alternating time frames and shiftin
Janette Mcmahon
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
ARC Review. The story line and theme is much like her other books, with the reader easily figuring out the family mystery. The setting is wonderful as are the flawed characters. Idid not like the ending as well as other books, this one did not give a strong "this is what happened with Cady" ending. We assume the romance continued along with the restoration. Would recommend to readers familiar with Blackwell along with Montfiore and deRosnay.
When I was a kid growing up in the mid-sized capital city of New York State, it was a huge treat for my family to get a ride with a relative (we didn’t have a car) up to Aunt Helen & Uncle Charlie’s house in “the country” (which area is now defined as a suburb). Down the road from them, at the end of the dead-end street before one reached the huge water tower, the railroad-loving owners of adjacent land had created a whole people-sized mini-train set, each open car large enough to fit one adult ...more
Patricia Romero
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Cady Drake had a rough start in life. Orphaned and shuffled through the foster system she lucked out the day Maxine, owner of an antique and junk shop, takes her in for good. From Maxine, Cady learns about life and restoring to life beautiful pieces of the past that have been abandoned or neglected.

When Maxine dies, Cady is adrift. Terrified to be alone and her good friend Olivia thinks she has the answer to Cady's problems. A book. Not just any book, but a book about the carousels of Paris. Cad
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-book-tour
This was a charming, lighthearted story about an American woman finding a new purpose in France. It was not overly romantic, which I appreciated, and included interesting information about photography, sculpting, and traditional carousels. This book is essentially a beach read with an educational leaning, fun all-around.

There was one plot error I found- the elderly gentleman commenting with a piece of information he couldn't possibly have, but I otherwise didn't notice any outright mistakes. One
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, ebooks, chick-lit
3.5/5 This book has an interesting concept- a woman goes to Paris to photograph carousels and stumbles upon the story of a long forgotten carousel that belonged to a family in a Provencal town. She travels, she meets interesting people, has some fun experiences, and eventually solves the mystery. There were a lot of good elements in the book, but I felt like everything could have been tightened up a bit more and been more suspenseful. As it is, it's not a bad book, but probably not one I'll reme ...more
Sep 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: daniele

The Lost Carousel of Provence
By Juliet Blackwell
ISBN# 9780451490636
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele


Present day, San Francisco. During her free time, professional photographer Cady Drake shoots local carousels, a hobby inspired by a gift that transformed her childhood: a wooden rabbit supposedly created by master French carver Gustave Bayol a century ago. And when she’s offered a freelance assignment for a book on
Sep 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, netgalley
Thanks to the publisher, via Netgalley, for an advance e-galley in exchange for an honest review!

The Lost Carousel of Provence is an interesting, bittersweet story featuring the beautiful historic carousels of Paris (I'd totally buy Cady's book on the topic). The story transititions back and forth between a woman who is serving as an appretice to a famous carousel artist (surrounded entirely by men) in the early 1900s and Cady, a lonely photographer from San Francisco who, encouraged by her frie
Susan Peterson
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Lost Carousel of France is an emotionally stirring book about families and home, along with the whimsy, history, and beauty of carousels! There are several stories that weave through this book: present-day Cady, a young girl who has grown up in foster homes, who discovers a secret message inside an old carousel rabbit she inherits; from 1900 we meet Josephine, whose husband is having a carousel built for her at their chateau in France; 1944, when a young man joins the Resistance at the end o ...more
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Juliet Blackwell (aka Julie Goodson-Lawes, aka Hailey Lind) started out life in Palo Alto, California, born of a Texan mother and a Yankee father. The family soon moved to what were, at the time, the sticks of Cupertino, an hour south of San Francisco. Walking to and from kindergarten every day she would indulge in her earliest larcenous activity: stealing walnuts and apricots from surrounding orc ...more

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