Paris, 1869. Houses are being razed, whole neighbourhoods reduced to ashes. By order of Emperor Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann has set into motion a series of large-scale renovations that will permanently transform Paris into a modern city. In the midst of the tumult, one woman will take a stand. Rose Bazelet is determined to fight against the ...
Paris, 1869. Houses are being razed, whole neighbourhoods reduced to ashes. By order of Emperor Napoleon III, Baron Haussmann has set into motion a series of large-scale renovations that will permanently transform Paris into a modern city. In the midst of the tumult, one woman will take a stand. Rose Bazelet is determined to fight against the destruction of her family home until the very end; as others flee, she stakes her claim in the basement of the house on rue Childebert, ignoring the sounds of change that come closer and closer each day. Attempting to overcome the loneliness of her daily life, she begins to write letters to Armand, her late husband. And as Rose delves into her memories, she reveals the secrets held within the walls of her beloved house. Praise for A Secret Kept: 'That rare thing -- a hugely accomplished, compelling, compulsively readable novel' Douglas Kennedy 'A wholly captivating novel. A triumphant follow-up to the bestselling Sarah's Key' Easy Living 'A sumptuous dark story...it's the suspense that keeps you truly hooked' Stylist
Publishers Weekly, 2012-03-26 In this audio edition of de Rosnay's novel-set during the 1860s and written in the form of letters from widow Rose Bazelet to her deceased husband, Armand-Kate Reading's narration transports listeners to the streets of Paris. At the order of Emperor Napoleon III, neighborhoods are being razed and homes destroyed to make way for renovations and construction. Among the residences marked for demolition is the house that Rose shared with her husband. But Rose will fight to save her home-and in the process come to terms with the past. De Rosnay's prose is enhanced by Reading's stellar narration; she reads with a robust English accent, sprinkling her performance with almost flawless French pronunciations. A St. Martin's hardcover. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2011-12-12 Parisian Rose Bazelet is a woman in mourning, for her husband and son, both long dead; for her distant daughter; and because of Napoleon III's ambitious urban planning agenda in the mid-19th century, an enormous project that could destroy her beloved family estate. With the planners already leveling nearby houses, Rose hides in her cellar and writes letters to her deceased husband about her struggle to save their home. As the letters continue, and destruction grows near, Rose remembers her married life. With the planners "rattling about at the entrance" and taking her friend Alexandrine, who has come to rescue her, by surprise, Rose reveals to her late husband the dark secret she could never bring herself to tell him when he was alive. Though bestseller de Rosnay's epistolary narrative is slow to build, it's fraught with drama, as the Sarah's Key author aims to create an immersive experience in a hugely transformative period in Paris (see Paul La Farge's Haussmann, or the Distinction), when the city was torn between modernity and tradition. In Rose, one gets the clear sense of a woman losing her place in a changing world, but this isn't enough to make up for a weak narrative hung entirely on the eventual reveal of a long-buried secret. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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