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Editorial Reviews

"Confident and brilliant. She will immerse you in a world I dare you to turn away from." (Lisa O'Donnell, author of The Death of Bees.)

Publisher's Summary

One Parisian summer. A building of separate lives. All that divides them will soon collapse....

In a forgotten corner of Paris stands a building. Within its walls people talk and kiss, laugh and cry; some are glad to sit alone while others wish they did not.

A woman with silver-blonde hair opens her bookshop downstairs, an old man feeds the sparrows on his windowsill, and a young mother wills the morning to hold itself at bay.

Though each of their walls touches someone else's, the neighbours they pass in the courtyard remain strangers. Into this courtyard arrives Edward. Still bearing the sweat of a channel crossing, he takes his place in an attic room to wait out his grief. But in distant corners of the city, as Paris is pulled taut with summer heat, there are those who meet with a darker purpose. As the feverish metropolis is brought to a boiling point, secrets will rise, and walls will crumble both within and without number 37....

©2017 Fran Cooper (P)2017 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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Dividing Is The Key Word Here

In my opinion this book does a disservice to the city of Paris. I am left wondering if it is even possible to have such a dark, disturbed and motley crew of people all sharing the same apartment building in such a large and diverse city? I mean really, what are the chances?

The book tries hard to be current and timely in its presentation of extremism, immigrants, angry isolationism and Islamophobia. At times I felt that as a reader I was being manipulated with fears hinted at but not fully explored or developed in the story. Beyond all this, the real trouble for me lies in the lack of characters that are NOT caricatures. Without characters that I can connect with the story remains flat, shadowy and one dimensional.

Further, the author really works hard to make the story gritty--so much so that some of the descriptions of odors and filth were over the top and unnecessarily revolting. I really hated this book. Can't recommend.

16 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Great ensemble of characters

The narrator makes all the interesting characters come alive in this great read set in an everyday building in Paris.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • L Douglas
  • 02-03-18

Something a bit different

Lovely descriptions of the city of Paris. Thought-provoking and relevant content to do with the re-emergence of far right beliefs in the West but also a more personal story about coming to terms with loss. Hard to fit into a genre but a refreshing read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful