To Capture What We Cannot Keep

Flatiron: Macmillan. Nov. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781250071446. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250071460. F
OrangeReviewStarTo be in Paris to witness the construction of the Eiffel Tower is a magnificent occasion: to have a hand, however small, in its building, even better. Jamie Arrol, the nephew of a successful Scottish engineer, talks himself into an apprenticeship. His sister, Alice, and their chaperone, Caitriona Wallace, travel with him, for it is just possible that Alice might find an acceptable husband in the City of Light. And what of Cait, a widow only too happy to escape penury and the gloom of Scotland for a while? It is she who finds something fleetingly beautiful, a love that in the end must be left behind. Hauntingly melancholic in places, Colin's (The Glimmer Palace) story moves like wisps of fog through Parisian streets, capturing moments of both gaiety and tragedy.
VERDICT This exquisitely written, shadowy historical novel will appeal to a wide variety of readers, including fans of the Belle Époque. [See Prepub Alert, 5/2/16.]
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