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To Capture What We Cannot Keep
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Archive: Other Books > To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin -- 3 stars

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Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments To Capture What We Cannot Keep by Beatrice Colin
3 stars

This was a promising premise. A love story set amongst the building of Eiffel's Tower for the World's Fair, the romance of the Impressionist movement, the era of loosening morals in Paris. It has one of my favorite aspects: historical fiction that is entertaining and yet I can still learn something about history.

But it just fell flat for me.

Caitriona Wallace travels to Paris as the chaperone for the fabulously wealthy/spoiled Alice and Jamie Arrol when she meets Émile Nouguier, the architect of the in-progress Eiffel Tower. They have an instant connection but he is a bit of a ladies' man and she is a widow in her 30s, not exactly a match made in heaven in 1888. As their story progresses it is primarily moved along by Alice, whom Cait is with most of the time, and Jamie, who is theoretically interning with Eiffel's firm.

I could not stand Alice and Jamie. They were naive, which was fine to start with because they were young and sheltered, but they continuously made horrible decisions and always passed the blame onto someone and then remained their same naive selves. And, equally frustrating, was that no one gave them a hard shake and told them to open their eyes.

Cait and Émile were supposed to be this great love story, but did not fight very hard for each other most of the story and we actually were exposed to very little of their time together to actually convince us of their love.

The best aspects were definitely those about the Paris culture and the building of the Tower. I thought those were very interesting and would have loved more of that context. Plus, I learned something new which was that Eiffel was involved in an earlier plan to build the Panama Canal until it ended in horrific failure. And, learning something new always earns a star from me.

Ultimately, I was interested enough to keep listening but not so interested as to be really invested.


message 2: by Joi (new) - added it

Joi (missjoious) | 3831 comments Disappointing!! I saw this pop up when you started reading this and it sounded SO GOOD!! I'll keep it on my TBR for when I feel like I want to read about Paris- but sad to hear the love story was not great.


message 3: by Nicole R (last edited Oct 04, 2017 12:20PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7784 comments Joi, perhaps you will like it more that I did, but I thought it was just ho hum.


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