Haunting Paris

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

This may be a case of reading something at the wrong time. For whatever reason, this one struck me as a little irritating to read. I know it will find its readers and many will love it.
Was this review helpful?
The premise and format are both interesting and work well together.  Can the ghost of a French-Jewish psychologist, Julien, roam, or maybe haunt, the streets of Paris to help his long-time love, Sylvie, pick up the trail of his life-long search for his niece who was taken during the Nazi occupation of France?  The author did a great job melding two time periods and worlds into a seamless story of love and of Paris.  The mystery of the niece and the story of Julien and Sylvie keep you captivated to its conclusion.

Thank you to NetGAlley and DoubleDay books for an Advanced Readers Copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
From the first sentence, this book had me captivated.  Everything from the title, to the front cover, to the powerful imagery and storyline, this book is a solid 5 stars for me and one I recommend time and again to others.
Was this review helpful?
I was drawn to this novel because of the evocative cover. The photo begs readers to pick it up.  At first I thought it would be about World War II, and in some ways it is, as part of it takes place in 1942. But that part of the story is minor. The major part of the story takes place in 1989.

There are two main characters. First is Sylvie. She is mourning the death of her 30-plus year partner, Julien. As his desk is being moved, a letter falls out that sends Sylvie on a journey to discover what happened to his sister and one of her children who died at Auschwitz. They were caught up in the roundup of Paris's Jews who were then imprisoned in the Vel d'hiver in 1942. But the letter is rarely mentioned in the first half of the book. Instead readers are confronted with a long-drawn out background of Julien and Sylvie’s life together, the American couple who rent half of the apartment, others who live in the building and a rather stranger relationship with Julien’s wife and their children.

The second character is Julien’s ghost. He wanders the Paris streets, never really far from Sylvie. He can see and hear everything that is going on, but he is unable to intercede. I found his sections also too long and drawn out.

It would be different if the tension rose as readers watch Sylvie navigate the world of grief, but it plods along at slow pace.  And that’s why “Haunting Paris” received 2 out of 5 stars in Julie’s world.
Was this review helpful?
I received a copy of this book from netgalley in return for my honest review.  This book was so good.  The Author had such a beautiful way with their words. It kept my attention and made me want more and more! Thank you so much!
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley and Nan A Talese Books for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book,.  I don’t think I have read something like this story,  This definitely lives by its title and it is extremely haunting.  The story in in two point of views, Sylvie and her dead lover Julian.  In this story Sylvie finds a hidden letter that leads her to find the past the she never knew about Julian.  At times this was quite beautiful.  Sometimes the short chapters can lose me, and I lose my place of where I am on.
Was this review helpful?
“Squandered time. The most enduring of regrets. In the end, a lifetime is not enough, the heart yearns for more.”

A highly original and unforgettable story of lovers and loss, merging the dead with the living. I was sympathetic to grieving Sylvie’s story and her quest to unravel the mystery of a letter found in her dead lover Julien’s desk, and  especially loved Julien’s musings as a ghostly presence watching over Sylvie. His thoughts are beautifully written. 

The author brought Paris’s history to life and stirred personal memories of when I once walked its’ streets. 
*will post online upon publication and include links below
Was this review helpful?
Beautifully, lyrically written, Chaudhry paints a picture of a relationship of love that extends beyond life itself.  Sylvie and Julien have shared so much, but after Julien’s death, Sylvie finds an sealed envelope that presents a secret Julien could not discuss, involving the terrible roundup of Jews at the Vel d’Hiv in Paris.  A love story, an indictment of the past, and an ode to Paris and music, this is a must read.
Was this review helpful?
As a classically trained musician myself, I was delighted and eager to read Haunting Paris based on the book synopsis. Unfortunately the novel fell flat for me, a slow and steady downward spiral. While the author writes elegantly and paints a lovely picture, it was difficult to keep track of whether the story was in the 1980s or 1950s. This continuous jumping between eras isn't atypical for historical fiction reads, yet for me it was a bit too distracting and ultimately took away from the romance and mystery at the core of the plot. I can see others who avidly read historical fiction enjoying this title, it just wasn't the right fit for me!
Was this review helpful?
Loved this book so much!   I had a gamut of emotions reading this one from happy to sad to disgust.  So let me explain those emotions.  The relationship between Sylvie and Julien warmed my heart.  They had such a beautiful love affair for many years until Julien passed away.  Sylvie was inconsolable and mourned Julien’s death throughout the book.  However, Julien’s ghost was still watching over her.  Julien was also able to be in other periods of history in France as a ghost and I found that very interesting.  Paris is such a beautiful city and this book used it as significant part of the book. 

Sylvie started to move away from her mourning when she found an envelope in Julien’s desk pertaining to Julien’s sister, Clara, and her two daughters. She knew that Julien’s sister and one daughter was killed by the Nazi occupation of France but Julien believed one daughter had survived.  This book also told the story of what happened to Clara and the girls and it was heartbreaking to read about the cruelty they went though along with thousands of other Jews in France. 

Sylvie began her quest to find answers about Clara and the girls and that led her to discover many things about Julien’s life and meet some colorful characters.  This quest helped Clara to start living again.
Was this review helpful?
A very moving story; beautifully written. During 1989 Sylvie is mourning the loss of her lover, Julien. She can no longer find comfort in music which used to be an escape for her.  The story unfolds through the voices of a narrator and the spirit of Julien; alternating between the past and the present. The descriptions of Paris are lovely- though I’ve never been to Paris I almost feel like I have. The story is both heartbreaking and heartwarming- a mixture just like life tends to be. I loved the character development of the main characters. Thank you to Netgalley and  Doubleday Books for an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A tender and deeply felt description of grief.  Mamta Chaudhry brings us the spirit of the deceased as well as the sadness of the remaining.  Beautifully done.
Was this review helpful?
HAUNTING PARIS: A NOVEL

Haunting Paris is an extraordinarily beautiful book. Set in 1989 on the Île Saint-Louis Paris, Sylvie is mourning the death of her lover Julien. His spirit haunts the island, willing her to resolve unfinished sorrows from his past.

How Sylvie and Julien met and built a life together is interwoven with family tragedies during WWII and the German occupation of France. Delicate and ethereal, understated and sublime, this tale floats to the surface with exquisite clarity and gentleness.

Tender healing from grief and acceptance of small moments of wonder combine to make this a beautiful piece of storytelling. As this is the author's first novel, I can only feel that she has an exquisite talent that I hope she continues to develop and share her gift.

I would like to thank NetGalley, Mamta Chaudhry, and Nan A. Talese /Doubleday and Penguin Random House LLC for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Was this review helpful?
Haunting Paris is a heart-wrenching romantic historical novel. From the onset, readers will welcome the characters as they struggle to overcome the powerful and disturbing events. The characters are then caught up in a mission to discover their own personal truths. Will, from America, longs for a different way of life. Isabelle must learn to accept her husband has left her and is not coming back. Sylvie becomes driven to discover the meaning behind a mysterious note left behind by her deceased lover, the now ghostly, Julian. Haunting Paris is set in the city of Paris in 1989. However, the mystery in this story will take us back to 1942 Paris during the period when France was occupied by the Nazis. No one of Jewish decent is safe in Paris. Haunting Paris is a remarkable debut novel by Mamta Chaudhry. The story is deeply moving and not to be missed.
Was this review helpful?
This is a beautifully written, haunting story. It is a story of. WWII France and survivors of its tragedies.  I enjoyed it and think fans of historical fiction will as well.
Was this review helpful?
An exquisite book with love, history and a city that is steeped in culture with it's own share of historical events made this a compelling read.
The writing made me 'feel' the story as I read, totally immersed as I turned the pages.
If you want a book to get lost in, this one fills the bill. 5 STARS!
Was this review helpful?
Paris in 1989 must have been a wonderful time for most, warm weather and preparations to celebrate the anniversary of the great revolution.  Sylvie, however, is mired in grief and loss for her Julien.  The couple was blissfully happy together, she a pianist and he a psychiatrist.  Their love began the moment Julien met Sylvie at a dinner party his former wife gave years ago.  They took their precious love and had a beautiful life together even though Julien was considerably older than Sylvie.  

The narrative of this new novel, Haunting Paris, offers alternative chapters describing Sylvie trying to go on with her life and finding it almost impossible.  Julien, in brief interludes in the story, is in the ether watching Sylvie and longing to join her.  He is neither dead nor alive, standing in the shadows watching and waiting for something.

When Sylvie finds an envelope hidden deep in Julien's desk, she discovers a mission he has left her.  There are a picture and a checkbook, neither of which Sylvie recognizes or understands.  Her new neighbors, Americans, taker her under their wings and encourage her to summon the courage to explore the mystery Julien has left for her.

The heart of the novel was tragic and redemptive for Sylvie and me. I most identified with Julien, unable to come back and yet at peace with what Sylvie discovered.  MC's writing is illuminating and precious.  I recommend this book to everyone.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the arc of this new novel (June 18).
Was this review helpful?
What a gripping read! I thoroughly enjoyed it and could not put it down...So much research, so much work has gone into it and it reads like a thriller. It is a historical discovery of WWII Paris, fascinating! And even for those of us who already know Paris, it makes you want to walk in the protagonist's footsteps and discover it all over again.
Was this review helpful?
This is an exquisitely written tale of love, lost and a painful reminder of the Holocaust. A historical story with a ghostly imprint that will tug at your heart strings and bring tears to your eyes. The writing is remarkable, the characters exceptional and with an ending that will echo within you long after the last page is read.

Highly recommended!
Was this review helpful?
A moving look at survivor's guilt and the spidering aftermath of the Jewish round up in Paris during WW II.  The novel is from a contemporary woman's stand point after loosing her partner and the other is his ghost, as he watches her go through the steps to solve a painful search from his family's past.  Beautifully written.
Was this review helpful?