Every city has its own magic...
Every night on their long journey to Paris from their troubled homeland, Levon’s grandmother has read to them from a very special book. Called The Nocturne, it is a book full of fairy stories and the heroic adventures of their people who generations before chose to live by starlight.
And with every story that Levon’s grandmother tells them in their new home, the desire to live as their ancestors did grows. And that is when the magic begins…
Nobody can explain why nocturnal water dogs start appearing at the heels of every citizen of Paris-by-Starlight like the loyal retainers they once were. There are suddenly night finches in the skies and the city is transforming: the Eiffel Tower lit up by strange ethereal flowers that drink in the light of the moon.
But not everyone in Paris is won over by the spectacle of Paris-by-Starlight. There are always those that fear the other, the unexplained, the strangers in our midst. How long can the magic of night rub up against the ordinariness of day? How long can two worlds occupy the same streets and squares before there is an outright war?
A magical new novel from the critically acclaimed bestselling author of THE TOYMAKERS which will appeal to fans of Neil Gaiman and Erin Morgenstern.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 67 members
Dinsdale's previous novel, The Toymakers, is a particular favourite of mine, which I read in the lead up to Christmas as the magic contained within is of that particular type. His new novel, Paris by Starlight, is written in the same vein. No particular time in history is offered for the setting, though I would suspect it's before the advent of smartphones and portable technology. There are two main protagonists: a young woman who finds herself drawn to Paris in search of her father, and a young man: refugee from an unnamed country which no longer exists. The couple find each other in Paris and are drawn together by their parallel themes of family and loss. The magic in this book comes from the young man's ancestry, and the legendary stories his family share from The Nocturne, a volume of fairy tales. As the refugees settle in Paris, they retell stories from the Nocturne of times past when the country lived by starlight and magical flowers bloomed and glowed in the evening light. Soon these stories begin to come to life, first around their new-found home, then spreading outwards across the whole city. At first, the native Parisians find the nighttime blooms enchanting, but as more seek refuge and to live by Starlight in their city, Paris finds it's inhabitants divided, and so do the star-crossed couple... Paris by Starlight is certainly an enchanting book, with themes we may find parallel to our own experience and feelings towards real-life asylum seekers who seek safety at our shores. Love and magic are the prevalent themes here, and while I don't find this novel quite as unforgettable as The Toymakers, it is certainly a beautiful novel in which to lose oneself in the depths of imagination.