Tuesday, 5 November 2019

Overture (L'Alouette trilogy Book 1) by Vanessa Couchman

Reviewer: Liza Perrat, author of the French Historical, The Bone Angel trilogy (Spirit of Lost Angels, Wolfsangel, Blood Rose Angel) and Australian 1970s series: The Silent Kookaburra and The Swooping Magpie.

I love the way Vanessa Couchman effortlessly breathes life into history, and her latest novel, Overture, is no exception.

Young Marie-Thérèse has a talent for singing but living in a poor family in rural Aveyron, she must work on the farm, and forget her singing dreams.

When tragedy forces Marie-Thérèse and her mother to leave Aveyron and seek refuge with her aunt and uncle in Paris, they are forced to work long, hard hours in their restaurant, Bistrot Mazars.

However, Marie-Thérèse also gets the chance to delve into the world of music and opera in the capital. And, when she meets someone who is certain she has a bright future, she dares to think her childhood dream might come true after all.

The author deftly evokes the contrasts of the countryside of rural Aveyron, with Paris city life at the turn of the last century. Disasters such as the sinking of the Titanic and the build-up to WWI are also woven through the storyline as we accompany Marie-Thérèse in her struggles, despairs and triumphs.

We want her to succeed as much as she does herself.

I was sorry when I reached the end of this beautifully-written and engaging story, but also pleased to see that Overture is the first of L’Alouette trilogy. I’m now looking forward to the second installment, and continuing this story with the characters I’ve come to know and care about.

You’ll like this if you enjoy: historical novels set in France, and tales of chasing your dreams against all odds.

Avoid if you don’t like: Leisurely-paced, coming-of-age historical stories.

Ideal accompaniments: baguette, cheese and French wine.

Genre: Historical Fiction.

Buy this book here


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