We are in the 7th month of the year which also is the 7th book of the book club. This month my selection is "A Paris Apartment" by Michelle Gable. The story is inspired by a true story from Paris. In 2010 a Paris Apartment was discovered untouched for 70 years. The apartment and all its contents from the Belle Epoque including a Boldini painting are rich with history. Marthe de Florian the owner of the apartment fled for the south of France just before the Nazi occupation of France during World War II leaving behind a time capsule telling the story of her life. It is in the letters that were found on the vanity of Marthe de Florian that share some of the secrets of her past.
The author Michelle Gable uses the apartment and letters as inspiration to write the story behind "The Paris Apartment" creating a story behind Marthe de Florian and her life. April Vogt is a furniture specialist for Sotheby's and is sent to Paris to catalog and set the contents of the apartment for auction. April is enchanted with the story of Marthe de Florian and is able to identify the unsigned painting in the apartment as a Boldini. April discovers the letters left behind and starts to uncover the story of the past. It isn't just about the furniture and what has been left behind in the apartment but the story of the woman that lived there. The story moves between the present and the past and tells the story of both Marthe de Florian from the early years until her death and April in present time discovering each piece by piece.
When I first heard about the book I put it on my reading list and quickly dove in. I read on the plane on the way to Portugal and then again on the train where I finally finished the book. I mistakingly left the book on the train as we left in our hurry for our stop. I didn't know the history or story behind the book until after it was finished. Now I can look at the photos of the apartment and the Boldini apartment and see what inspired Michelle Gable to write the book. Even if you have read the book hopefully this will give you a little glimpse into the apartment if you didn't know the photos existed.
Upon further research, (architectural digest article) I discovered the book "The Velvet Hours" was based on the same apartment so if you prefer to read that one you can. I would love to read them both and see the differences in the stories from the authors. There is no right or wrong story as we will never know the whole truth.