ISBN #: 978-1451676686
Page Count: 400
Copyright: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
When Lord Frampton dies in a skiing accident, a beautiful young woman named Phaedra appears at his funeral, claiming to be the Lord's illegitimate daughter. In his will, Lord Frampton has left her the priceless Frampton suite of sapphires, confirming her claim and outraging his three adult sons and widow, Antoinette. Eventually, however, Phaedra's sweet nature thaws the frosty relationships. She becomes the daughter that Antoinette never had and a wise and compassionate granddaughter to the formidable Dowager Lady Frampton. But an undeniable attraction grows between Phaedra and Frampton's eldest son, David. It seems an impossible love - blocked by the fury of one family member determined to expose Phaedra as a fraud.
Featuring the enchanting characters, scenery, and emotional complexity her fans adore, The Woman from Paris is a sweeping, sophisticated romance about family, forgiveness, and the surprising strength of love.
About the Author:
Santa Montefiore is the internationally bestselling author of several novels, including The French Gardener and The Last Voyage of the Valentina. She lives in London with her husband, historian Simon Sebag-Montefiore, and their two children.
Chick lit isn't really my thing. I'll read it on occasion, but it's not the sort of thing I would seek out on my own. This is chick lit of the highest order. I kind of picture the Framptons as a modern-day Downton Abbey. Super rich, live in a huge manor, have all the money and toys and live the good life. It's a peek into a luxurious lifestyle most of us will never see. The writing is very rich and descriptive, so I commend the author for that. She paints a vivid picture of the Frampton family and all their quirks.
There is a large cast of characters to sort through, and at first, I had a hard time sorting out who was who. Here's a brief rundown of the Framptons:
Lord George Frampton - deceased. The head of the family.
Antoinette - Lord George Frampton's wife
Margaret - George's mother
Rosamunde - Antoinette's sister
Tom The three sons of George and Antoinette
Roberta - Joshua's wife
Phaedra - Supposed daughter of George, unknown to all until Lord George Frampton's funeral
Got that? OK.
So, I found a few things unsettling right from the beginning. First: how come no one (except Roberta and Margaret) freaked out about this complete bomb dropping about George's illegitimate daughter? This is supposed to be a wealthy, highfalutin family, and it seems to me that this would be a pretty big scandal for a family such as this. Instead, they embrace Phaedra as one of their own, right away.
Second: I found it realllllly disturbing every time there was mention of an attraction between David and Phaedra. I was like, are you REALLY going to go there? They're related!
Additionally, Antoinette, newly-widowed, wastes no time in cozying up to the local doctor and letting her hair down in her new life as a widow. Not sure how realistic this is, considering her husband JUST DIED, suddenly, shockingly. I know I probably wouldn't leave my house, or even get out of my pj's, if faced with the same situation. Then again, I guess people handle grief in different ways ...
I don't know. Maybe reading a book of this type requires the reader to suspend disbelief. Me and my disbelief are pretty tightly bonded, so it's hard for me to let go.
The ending - which I won't spoil - comes as a huge surprise, although hints are dropped liberally along the way. Something with Phaedra's story doesn't add up ...
Even though I had some nits to pick, don't get me wrong - this is good escapism reading. Bring it with you on your next vacation, or just to get you through the winter doldrums.