You know those books where you just CANNOT get enough?
Last Christmas in Paris was one of those books for me.
I’d never heard of it, but the title intrigued me and there was almost no wait for the audio version at my library.
Five days later, I’d flown through the whole thing, looking for every spare moment where I could listen.
This was SUCH a wonderful book.
Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor and Heather Webb
Last Christmas in Paris is written almost entirely in letters, which sometimes makes me shy away from a book, but in this case? It worked perfectly.
It begins in the summer of 1914 as World War I breaks out and Evie begins writing letters to her beloved brother Will, plus his best friend Tom who has grown up with them, who have both enlisted and are anxious to get to the front.
All three of them, plus Evie’s best friend Alice, assume – like most of the country – that the war will be over in a few months (in fact, their greatest worry is that the war will be over before they finish training and actually reach the front lines) and they plan to spend Christmas together in Paris.
Of course, that’s not what happens.
The war drags on until 1918 and through the years Evie continues her faithful letter writing as the world she grew up in crumbles around her.
She’s grown up in a well-to-do, very proper family, but with the war, she’s now anxious for more opportunities to spread her wings.
And she learns more about her brother, Tom, and Alice as they each experience the war in different ways.
I loved how many things this book did well – coming-of-age, the War, the love story, and the storyline set in 1968 that pops in between each year of the war with Thomas in Paris, with one last letter left to read.
This was such a delightful read and if you can swing an audio verison, I HIGHLY recommend it since the narrators were terrific with wonderful British accents (you can get it for free here with an Audible trial or it’s available on Scribd). It made the whole book really come to life in a way I don’t think would have happened if I was reading on the page.
If you read it, let me know what you think – I hope you love it as much as I did!