From the Bookshelf: The Perfume Collector

I just finished up The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro last night.   A really enjoyable read!



The story focuses on Grace Monroe and is set in 1954.  Grace is trapped in a lackluster marriage, without much to look forward to every morning, when she receives a letter from a solicitor in Paris, letting her know she's the heir to the estate of one Eva D'Orsey, a woman she's never met.  Grace sets off for Paris to learn the details of the inheritance, but the more information she receives about it, the less she really knows.  

The story unfolds with flashes back to the 1920s which tell the story of Eva D'Orsey and her life, first as a hotel maid and the characters she encounters there, including a famous perfumer, Madame Zed and her apprentice, up through Eva's move to France and the German occupation during WWII.  As Grace uncovers details of the three mysterious perfume fragrances that tell the story of Eva's life, she also finds out the secrets of her benefactress.

I will say that yes, I figured out the final secret before it was officially revealed, but the characters in the story were so interesting, I didn't mind this at all!  There are things to love and to dislike about both Eva and Grace as the story unfolds and their separate and eventually intertwined lives are revealed to the reader.  In the end, I was cheering for Grace and happy to follow her story through to her final choices (and hopeful happiness - it's nice to have a happy ending for a character you've grown to like!)

Next up in the reading queue is The Aviator's Wife, a novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

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