The Paris Secret by Karen Swan (Mommy and Me Book Club)

Thanks for joining my “Mommy and Me” Book Club. I hope you’re enjoying my ongoing “stay in bed and read” series. See my thoughts on the previous book, Life of Pi by Yann Martel.

Title:  The Paris Secret (2017)

Author:  Karen Swan

Page No.:  406 pages

Publisher:  New York:  HarperCollins Publishers

Price:  $10.19 (paperback)

Genres:  fiction; historical fiction, mystery, romance


Not every door should be opened . . .

With stunning locations and page-turning tension, The Paris Secret is an intense and gripping tale from bestselling author Karen Swan.

Somewhere along the cobbled streets of Paris, an apartment lies thick with dust and secrets: full of priceless artworks hidden away for decades.

High-flying fine art agent Flora from London, more comfortable with the tension of a million-pound auction than a cosy candlelit dinner for two, is called in to assess these suddenly discovered treasures. As an expert in her field, she must trace the history of each painting and discover who has concealed them for so long.

Thrown in amongst the glamorous Vermeil family as they move between Paris and Antibes, Flora begins to discover that things aren’t all that they seem, while back at home her own family is recoiling from a seismic shock. The terse and brooding Xavier Vermeil seems intent on forcing Flora out of his family’s affairs – but just what is he hiding? (from Goodreads)

Quotable Quotes:

On Art

“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.” – Pablo Picasso qtd. in The Paris Secret

On Beauty 

“A woman bewitching in a picture – was she even more beguiling in the flesh?”

On Discoveries

“It’s [the answer’s] always in the most obvious place.”

On Gut Instincts 

“Don’t think, just do.”

On Heartbreak

“Contrary to every love song out there, heartbreak is good for you. It makes you grow.”

On Money

“Too much money – it fucks you up.”

On Smiles

“A smile could disarm most people.”

Worth Staying Up Late For (after the kids have gone to bed?): 

  • Yes, Stay Up Late!
  • Maybe, But See What’s on TV First.
  • No, Go to Bed!

If you have a taste for a glass of rosé and a chocolate croissant, then let Karen Swan’s The Paris Secret be your excuse. It’s not every day you get to go to Paris. What else do you have going on?

For me, this book wasn’t a page turner, so you may have to stay in bed a while. But what’s so wrong with that? Historical fiction readers, first see if there’s a good TV show or movie to watch in bed. Or enjoy an early bedtime. Mystery or romance readers, it may be worth it to stay up late.

Has anyone read Paris Time Capsule by Ella Carey, A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable or The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman? What did you think?

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