eBook CLUB: Someday in Paris

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[Total: 8 Average: 4.5]

Author: Olivia Lara
ISBN: 9781838933142

Thank you to Aria and Beauty and Lace Book Club for the opportunity to read and review Olivia Lara’s debut novel “Someday in Paris”.

This book had me from the very first page, sending tingles up my spine as the character Dominque, now aged eighty reflects on what makes people fall in love, and how do you know if you have found your soulmate.  Revealing that the women in her family have a special gift, a gift that reveals itself around the age of 15 when the dreams that are not dreams begin.  Some of the women choose to believe, others dismiss the idea.  Those that dismiss the idea find love, and yet somehow something is always missing.

Warning, the following may contain spoilers:

In 2019 Dominique’s granddaughter, Valerie, celebrates her 21st birthday.  Dominique has been waiting since Valerie turned 15 for evidence that Valerie too experiences the dreams, the reverie as she calls it.  That year on 9 December, a special day in Dominique’s life, she discovers that Valerie is indeed experiencing the dreams.  Now is the time to tell her the story, the story of the three identical paintings on the wall, the book with lilies on the cover, about dreams and taking chances, about missed opportunities, mistakes, loss, sacrifice but mostly about love.  About the type of love that survives everything, time, distance, even death, about the kind of love she wishes Valerie to experience more than anything.

Dominique’s story begins on 9 December 1954 when a 15-year-old girl named Zara is hiding in the minuscule art library in the museum in Colmar, she is entranced by all things art, but being still a child she is not allowed in the hallowed sanctum of Colmar’s art library and she is afraid if she is caught again her mother who works at the museum will lose her job.  Inexplicably she is drawn to a book on the NEW shelf, Monet’s Impressionism Limited First Edition 1954.  When the lights in the old museum flicker and go out Zara discovers another person present, a boy that she has never before met, whose face she cannot see in the dark and who yet appears so familiar, so right.  At the last minute, before he leaves they exchange names, Leon asks for her address and promises to write and then they are separated.

Despite never having seen each other’s face it appears that both have become enamored of the other, almost to the point of obsession. Yet over many years, every time it seems that destiny is bringing them together, something interferes to keep them apart.  For me this was the only frustrating aspect of the book, how many times can two people have an inkling that they are close, that something special is going to happen, only to have it torn away.  At times I wanted to scream at the characters, open your eyes, open your mouths, but of course I couldn’t and I just needed to keep reading and hope that eventually destiny and fate would work in their favour!

To further complicate matters Lara has introduced two other characters, Nicole and Vincent.  Nicole is the daughter of JJ (Jean Jacques D’Angers), Leon’s godfather and his father’s best friend, and in1945 when Leon and Nicole are both seven they begin living next door to each other in one of three apartments on the top floor of Manhattan’s most coveted and newest high rises.  In the third apartment lives Vincent Saint Germain, aged eight, who has lived next to Nicole for many years.  Like the D’Angers, the Saint Germain’s are “old” money, Leon’s family is new money and never quite good enough.  

As the years progress, Leon and Nicole become best friends, and Vincent becomes Nicole’s boyfriend.  Leon can’t wait to tell Nicole about his meeting with Zara, but his ongoing obsession creates tension between them.  Leon, being as unaware as many boys of that age are, completely misses that Nicole is actually in love with him, not Vincent, meanwhile, Vincent thinks that Leon is treading on his turf and is insanely jealous of him, a situation that was never going to end well as lies and desire for revenge leads to a tragic conclusion.

With everything conspiring to keep them apart, can Zara and Leon ever find each other?

Lara’s debut novel is beautifully written with a depth of feeling, the characters alive and interesting and the descriptions of places and artworks clearly painted with words.

Highly recommended I give it 4 stars. 

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Someday in Paris by Olivia Lara. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

22 thoughts on “eBook CLUB: Someday in Paris

  1. Someday in Paris by Olivia Lara is a full on romance about finding and losing love, chasing dreams, taking chances and never giving up hope.

    Set against a backdrop of beautiful artworks, amazing architecture and Paris – the city of love, Zara and Leon are the star crossed lovers of this story. They meet and form an incredibly deep connection at the tender age of 15. They each see the other as “the one”, their destiny, their soul mate. However over the course of thirty years, an incredible number of unfortunate events and obstacles, from accidents and deaths to cases of mistaken identity get in the way of Zara and Leon being together. Life keeps separating them but their love endures and is kept going by the prophetic dreams they have about each other.

    I enjoyed this story and became invested in wanting Zara and Leon to be together, but found the pacing in the early parts of the book very slow. It took a long while to get going, indulging in a lot of angst and sentimentality along the way.
    Nevertheless a lovely story for hopeless romantics.

  2. I don’t think it is necessary to add very much to Marcia’s excellent review of Someday in Paris, Olivia Lara’s beautiful debut novel, offered through e-book. I absolutely LOVED IT. Definitely 5 stars for me. It deals with love on many levels and “the kind of love that survives time, distance, even death.”

    I loved the way Monet is constantly in the background and often in the foreground. All through there are threads of Monet. I found myself doing something I rarely do – talking back, directly, to the characters as I read. They had become real. Eventually, Dominique chooses family over loneliness, reality over a dream.

    I can understand those who aren’t “possibly hopeless romantics” not being drawn into the characters but I loved every second. To me it is beautifully and sensitively written and I am thrilled to have been given the chance to read this. Thank you for the opportunity, Beauty and Lace. This author will be one I look for.

    “Love is the destination, the journey. Love is the reason.” All you have to do is follow your heart.

  3. Someday in Paris

    “The kind of love that survives time, distance. Even death. The kind of love I wish for you.”

    Teenagers Zara and Leon meet in a museum in Zara’s home town of Colmar in France. Leon is on a school excursion from his boarding school and has escaped to hide in the museum. The museum has a black out and although they can’t see each other there is an immediate connection. They talk about their love of art and Monet for the whole time they are together.
    Zara dreams of this special connection and continues to have dreams about Leon seeing episodes of life through his eyes. Could these dreams really mean something? Are they meant to be together and is there really that one person in life you are meant to be with above all else.
    This epic love story spans decades, name changes, marriages, deaths, births but above all it tells of a magic connection between two people.
    I’m not a big fan of romance books but this was a really captivating read. 4/5

  4. Thank you Beauty and Lace and Aria for the opportunity to read this wonderful book Someday In Paris by Olivia Lara!!!
    I have to say it is one of the best so far for me this year. Such a captivating story. As you follow the characters through everything it gives you hope that love like this really does still exist.
    A must read for all.

  5. A beautiful read following the thread of love through time. I found myself holding my breath at times wishing I had once felt like that. Highly recommend Someday in Paris.

  6. I loved this book and it kept me reading late into the night. Zara and Leon meet in a dark gallery in France when they are 15. Over the next 20 odd years we follow their lives hoping they can finally find their way together.
    The tale is shared with Nicole and Vince, old friends and new enemies.
    The characters are well drawn and believable, they keep you groaning in frustration and cheering with glee.
    Who doesn’t love a happy ending?
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace for an ebook copy.

  7. This book was a beautiful epic love story by Olivia Lara. It spans over twenty years told by 80 year old Zara to her granddaughter.
    Paris, 1954 a young Zara and Leon meet in a French museum, the power is cut and they cannot see each other but spend time together walking around in the dark sharing their love of art. They part ways yet feel the strong connection they formed for each other.
    As each year passes, different cities, different lives they still think, long and search for each other hoping fate will cross their paths where they can be together.

    The author has established Zara and Leon as passionate, likeable, loving characters who are interested in pursuing each other but there is always something working against them which will have you invested in their story. There is always something that ruins everything, they are tested even when they meet again they are driven apart.
    The tension in this novel is well worth the read. You will believe love stories do exist! I highly recommend.

    Many thanks to Beauty & Lace and Harper Collins AU for the chance to read and review.

  8. Someday in Paris!
    Zara and Leon, young teens chance meeting and falling in love in the most beautiful way. Their dreams individually of meeting overtime, letters revealing true thoughts and feelings, life building chances and hope! A unique love story with unimaginable hiccups!

    Through the years of hoping but living life the way others want them too! This is a beautiful story which I am thankful I had the chance to read.

  9. It just goes to show you’ll never know who you’ll meet when the lights go out in the Art Library in a Parisian Museum minutes before closing, it may turn out to be the love of your life, spanning decades in the quest for true happiness. Set in the most glamorous, breathtakingly romantic city in the world, this story will break your heart, and then amongst tears of anguish, slowly mend it piece by heartbreaking piece.

    Zara and Leon’s (who both change names later to Dominique and Alexander) story begins as young teens, forming an instant magical soul-mate connection in their shared love of art, Monet in particular, exchanging love letters, transcending continents, near misses, their love story is palpable, with an equal sprinkling of happiness and tragedy.

    There are plenty of twists and turns throughout the story, and at times you’ll want to scream, open your eyes, but resist knowing that every step of the way you’ll feel Zara and Leon’s joy, despair, longing and pain, but most of all you’ll feel the undying love for each other of these two very likable and memorable characters. The cover of this book screams ‘pick me’ and if you do, this book will definitely appeal to the hopeless romantic in all of us.

    I absolutely adored this book, thank you so much Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to review eBook ‘Someday in Paris’ by Olivia Lara. I love that Olivia’s original intention for the book was to give it to her husband Chris as a wedding anniversary gift, and Chris’s reaction to that gift, and the search for a literary agent, put Olivia’s debut novel in our (the readers hands) to enjoy and for that story to find a life of its own and a place in our hearts.

  10. Thank you to Beauty and Lace and Aria for the opportunity to read Someday in Paris by Olivia Lara.
    I loved this book. I also now love Ebooks.

    In 2019 Dominique is now 80 years old. Her granddaughter Valerie has celebrated her 21st birthday. She asks her grandmother , What makes people fall in love? What makes them believe they have found their soul mate? Valerie shares a dream she has had with her Grandmother. Dominique realises it is time to tell Valerie about her own life and dreams.

    Dominique as a young girl ,knew she had met her soul mate Leon, in a dark museum during a power failure. Neither knew what the other looked like. They make plans to meet again. But life got in the way.

    Dominique ‘s story is of love,loss, connections, disappearances. Taking chances and strong beliefs that you will find that special love of your life again.
    A great read.

  11. Beauty and Lace Book Club, 5th May 2020
    Book Review: Someday in Paris by Olivia Lara
    This is the first e-book I have read on a phone, I wasn’t sure that I would enjoy the process of not holding an actual book, the convenience to just pick up and read for a few pages was really fun or should I say bad as I easily got pulled into the story and distracted from whatever else I was meant to be doing. The story was about whether finding true love is a matter of fate, luckily found or maybe even both. The main characters Zara and Loren meet whilst very young are very sure of their connection to each other. However, life has a way of throwing curve balls in the way of their budding romance separating them by country and place.
    Sometimes I found it really frustrating during the story that things did or didn’t quite happen, it was very clever how little hints were dropped along the way as to what the outcome may eventually be but those little crumbs could be misleading. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to the end of the story to have all the loose ends tied up and was very pleased that I hadn’t given up and peeked at the ending first, although being an e-book I’m not sure how I could have done this.
    Thank you ‘Beauty & Lace Book Club’, for the opportunity to read and review Olivia Lara’s e-book ‘Someday in Paris’.

  12. I enjoyed Someday in Paris very much. Books set in Paris or France always attract me!
    I thought the characters and story line very believable and it kept me interested from start to finish. A good debut novel.

  13. There’s a part in this story where Valerie says ‘Please, go on. I want to know what happens next.’ This is exactly how I felt with every page.

    Absolutely loved this book and couldn’t put it down. It will definitely be a book I read again and again.

  14. Olivia Lara is going to have a lot to live up to with her second book. “Someday In Paris” her debut novel was an absolute delight to read. I’ll admit it I am rather cynical in matters of the heart but I do believe in serendipity and things happening for a reason and acting on instincts
    I was drawn in right from the start meeting an 80 year old Zara and her telling a tale to her granddaughter. The tale of a young girl having a chance encounter in an Art Library
    This is the love story of Zara and Leon. It is so much more than a love story though. It is about the fragility of humanity and loving and losing and going on to live another day as best you can
    There are many twists and turns as the story unravels. Just as you think you know what will happen, things don’t go as expected. I found myself thinking “oh, if only” or “what if” several times as I read along
    Science or facts don’t always explain everything and sometimes you just have to follow your heart and see where you land
    Just a delightful story even for a cynic like me. It will make your heart sing
    Many thanks to Beauty and Lace and Aria for the opportunity to read and review this ebook. I will look out for Olivia Lara’s next novel

  15. Someday in Paris is Olivia Laura’s debut novel and it is a beautiful story of love and fate. Zara at 80 years old tells her story to her granddaughter. Zara at 15 years old sees Leon fir the first and they are both instantly captivated with each other. Over time they are almost brought together over and over again. I loved it and cant wait to see what Olivia brings out next. Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Aria for the opportunity to read this great story.

  16. Wow what a story! This book got me hooked in the first chapter. It is a story about believing in true love and soul mates. In the beginning we meet Zara and Leon – 2 teenagers who follow their inner voice and happen across each other in a darkened library. They form a bond without even setting eyes on each other and then begins a lifelong connection. Will they follow their hearts or let reason and other people’s beliefs stop them from believing in their connection??

    This is a fantastic debut novel and I look forward to the next books from Olivia Lara

  17. The first word that comes to mind when I think of this book is frustrating – not frustrating because it was a bad book but frustrating with everything that happens – which is a sign of a good book right – feeling emotions?! Angst, romance, friendship – this book has all the feels.

    It is 1954 and teenagers Zara and Leon meet during a blackout in a small French museum. They spend an hour in the dark talking about their love for art, Monet, and Paris. Neither knows what the other looks like but there is a strong somewhat magical connection. Over the years they still feel the connection and potentially cross paths but seem almost destined not to meet. The book explores relationships, destiny, art, Paris and a range of other themes which made for a great read.

    While in some parts I found this book could have hurried along, I was invested the whole way and needed to finish to find out what happened in the end. Will they eventually find each other to love?!
    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Aria Fiction for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  18. OMG, I love Someday In Paris it was enthralling and with its highs and lows of love it’s well worth reading, the pages turn themselves and a few nights my husband had to come get me as my half hour turned into an hour and a half lol thoroughly enjoyed how Zara and Leon met and the story that it led too
    Thank you for another fantastic book

  19. I adored Olivia Lara’s Someday in Paris, a sweeping and epic romance spanning years and continents. With a number of near misses and tragedy seemingly thwarting destiny time and again, even Dominique’s fierce belief is tested to the extreme.

    Traveling between France, New York and the UK, the novel offers fabulous armchair travel, while the ongoing theme of art which brings Zara and Leon together over and over again weaves throughout adding another dimension to this thoroughly enjoyable book. At times devastating but ultimately heartwarming, I would definitely recommend Someday in Paris. Thanks to Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to enjoy!

  20. Love, love, love this book. Two people who are just meant to be together but because of many missed opportunities over 30 years, never happened… or did it?
    It all started in the 1950’s when Zara and Leon have their first encounter, albeit in darkness because of a power failure in a museum. They made a lasting impression on each other and weirdly had many “encounters” over the years.
    Not gong to give the ending away but it is a very romantic, mystical love story that has many ups and downs and restored my faith in love. A great read.

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