Paris: The Novel

Paris, it’s a riot! This historical novel follows six families in rebellious Paris over the course of 800 years (and more than 800 pages)—from 1261 to 1968. By focusing on the families and their interactions over time (fortunately, there’s a detailed timeline to help keep everyone straight), Edward Rutherfurd presents a very full and perceptive analysis of French society. This, of course, is his modus operandi, with the similarly epic multicharacter works Russka, London, Ireland: Awakening and New York, among others, already under his belt. Paris explores a number of interesting issues over the course of the country’s turbulent history—freedom, rebellion, individualism, family, love, war, art, intrigue and madness—using both real-life and expertly crafted fictional characters together. With so much room to work with, Rutherfurd is able to fully analyze each character and his or her relationships with one another in intimate detail—and not a word strikes false. It’s one of those rare 832-page page turners; so pop open a nice chardonnay, plop a kitty on the lap and settle in.