Last Christmas in Paris Hazel Gaynor Heather Webb

51uj1xk1O8L._SY346_Pub: William Morrow Paperbacks

August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.

But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…

Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?

Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…

This is a beautiful collaboration with one of my favourite authors and one I hadn’t heard of…

With WW1 in progress,  “Last Christmas In Paris” is told using letters and telegrams which connect each of the characters and their experiences.

Unique and totally heartwarming, this stunning tale captures the thoughts and feelings of Evie and her friend Thomas. It is quite easy to understand the young people and the conflicts between these pages and at times I was very teary.

I got heavily involved with the tale and Evie, feeling like a failure while her friends were more involved with the War effort, was someone I thought about for days after.

Such an emotional story is bound to pull at you heart strings, but with added humour and some romance this book has it all. I felt as if I was stood right there with them, such is the intensity and genuine reality of the writing. It does truly grip the reader.

I love writing letters, and Last Christmas in Paris demonstrates that this dying practice is important, important for keeping hope alive and spirits high.

A very moving and highly recommended read.

5*/5

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