It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This weekly meme is hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

Another week gone and not much in the way of reading to show for it with only one book finished, A Paris Apartment. This book was a little disappointing as I didn't like the main female character that much, but I did enjoy the part of the novel about Marthe de Florian set during La Belle Epoque.

However, I also read a delightful short story from Kaye Dobbie, May's Rose, which was first published in The Australian Women's Weekly magazine back in 1996, under her pseudonym Lilly Sommers and originally titled Haunted by Roses. This short story was free to those signing up for her newsletter and those already on her list.

This week I made the momentous decision to shelve Barnaby Rudge for the time being. No progress was made with it last week. It sat on my coffee table, but I couldn't bring myself to pick it up and read more.  I'm not ready to classify it as a DNF just yet so it will stay on my coffee table for a while longer.

This week I'm still reading From This Valley and hope to follow with Daughter of Mine and then For Two Cents I'll Go With You.  I've read many novels set during World War I, mostly from the British perspective, so this will be a change for me.

What I Read Last Week

A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable

When April Vogt's boss tells her about an apartment in the ninth arrondissement that has been discovered after being shuttered for the past seventy years, the Sotheby's continental furniture specialist does not hear the words “dust” or “rats” or “decrepit.” She hears Paris. She hears escape.
Once in France, April quickly learns the apartment is not merely some rich hoarder's repository. Beneath the cobwebs and stale perfumed air is a goldmine, and not because of the actual gold (or painted ostrich eggs or mounted rhinoceros horns or bronze bathtub). First, there's a portrait by one of the masters of the Belle Epoque, Giovanni Boldini. And then there are letters and journals written by the very woman in the painting, Marthe de Florian. These documents reveal that she was more than a renowned courtesan with enviable decolletage. Suddenly April's quest is no longer about the bureaux plats and Louis-style armchairs that will fetch millions at auction. It's about discovering the story behind this charismatic woman.
It's about discovering two women, actually.
With the help of a salty (and annoyingly sexy) Parisian solicitor and the courtesan's private diaries, April tries to uncover the many secrets buried in the apartment. As she digs into Marthe's life, April can't help but take a deeper look into her own. Having left behind in the States a cheating husband, a family crisis about to erupt, and a career she's been using as the crutch to simply get by, she feels compelled to sort out her own life too. When the things she left bubbling back home begin to boil over, and Parisian delicacies beyond flaky pĆ¢tisseries tempt her better judgment, April knows that both she and Marthe deserve happy finales.

May's Rose by Kaye Dobbie

The deep red rose cast its spell on her, drawing her back into the past, and showing her a future.

What I'm Reading Today

Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens

Set against the backdrop of the Gordon Riots of 1780, Barnaby Rudge is a story of mystery and suspense which begins with an unsolved double murder and goes on to involve conspiracy, blackmail, abduction and retribution. Through the course of the novel fathers and sons become opposed, apprentices plot against their masters and Protestants clash with Catholics on the streets. And, as London erupts into riot, Barnaby Rudge himself struggles to escape the curse of his own past. With its dramatic descriptions of public violence and private horror, its strange secrets and ghostly doublings, Barnaby Rudge is a powerful, disturbing blend of historical realism and Gothic melodrama.

From This Valley by Murray Harvey

The year is 1876, and Trooper Ryan Price Meade is a deserter from the US Army 7th Cavalry Regiment who strikes north, fleeing the Montana Territory just as Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer closes in on Little Bighorn. A deeply troubled young man, Meade finds himself in Canada’s Northwest Territory, only to be confronted with all he has lost and come face to face with a ghost from the past—one that will alter the course of the rest of his life.

What I Hope To Read Next

Daughter of Mine by Fiona Lowe

The three Chirnwell sisters are descended from the privileged squattocracy in Victoria’s Western District — but could a long-held secret threaten their family?
Harriett Chirnwell has a perfect life — a husband who loves her, a successful career and a daughter who is destined to become a doctor just like her.
Xara has always lived in Harriet’s shadow; her chaotic life with her family on their sheep farm falls far short of her older sister’s standards of perfection and prestige.
Georgie, the youngest sister and a passionate teacher, is the only one of the three to have left Billawarre. But is her life in Melbourne happy?
Despite all three sisters having a different and sometimes strained bond with their mother, Edwina, they come together to organise a party for her milestone birthday — the first since their father’s death. But when Edwina arrives at her party on the arm of another man, the tumult is like a dam finally breaking. Suddenly the lives of the Chirnwell sisters are flooded by scandal. Criminal accusations, a daughter in crisis, and a secret over fifty years in the making start to crack the perfect faƧade of the prominent pastoral family.

For Two Cents I'll Go With You by Marcia Maxwell

In the spring of 1917, Walter "Pat" Lusk sits at his desk shuffling papers and dreaming of glory on the battlefield. Frustrated, he's convinced the Great War will remain forever out of reach until one day his friend Aubrey arrives with the thrilling news that the United States has finally declared war on Germany! With his path to adventure now clear, Pat immediately enlists in the Army, where he trains as a surgeon's assistant. Sent to France with Evacuation Hospital No. 4, will Pat finally attain the glory he seeks treating desperately wounded soldiers through the war's darkest days? Will he ever win over the redoubtable Nurse Oberholtzer? Will the Armistice bring peace to the boys of Evac 4, or does a time of even greater testing await Pat and his friends?


  1. A lot of new to me books on this list! Enjoy your reading.

    1. Thanks, Beth. Hopefully I'll get to them all this week.

  2. All these books are new to me. I hope you enjoy reading them!

    My It's Monday! What Are You Reading? post.

    1. Thanks, Majanka. I'm looking forward to them all.

  3. That's disappointing about Paris Apartment. I might skip it.

    1. There was a lot to like in this novel, but for me the character of April Vogt spoiled what would have been an otherwise excellent story.

  4. Daughter of Mine looks tempting. I have some books that I have set aside...and might pick up again.

    Enjoy your week! Thanks for visiting my blog.

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one setting aside books that I might pick up again. The good thing is that I usually do. I hate to mark a book DNF.

  5. Sorry to hear that A Paris Apartment was a bit disappointing, although the background details of that era do sound good.

    1. The background details were fascinating and the life of Marthe de Florian was interesting though it did deviate from the little that is known about her.

  6. Hi Yvonne,

    Sorry to hear you had a slow reading week, that happens every now and then. Also a shame to hear The Paris Aprtment didn't quite live up to your expectations. I still have it sitting on my TBR shelf. I think I will still give it a go at some point.
    I also love Kaye Dobbie and didn't realise she wrote under another name years ago. I will have to investigate further! Thank you for bringing it to my attention.
    I rushed out to buy Daughter of Mine when it was released. I hope you enjoy reading it.
    Have a lovely week, it's always great see a cross over between our books! Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier too :-)
    Amanda @ Mrs B's Book Reviews

    1. A Paris Apartment, while it did disappoint me, was still worth reading.
      Kaye Dobbie wrote eight books under her pseudonym of Lilly Sommers. I've not read them all, but my favourite to-date is The Dark Dream.
      I live in the Western District. For that reason Daughter of Mine caught my eye. I hope you enjoy it too.
      Always a pleasure to visit your blog. Looking forward to catching up with you next week!

  7. I read The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman which I thoroughly enjoyed. It's the fictionalized story of Marthe de Florian. You may like it more than The Paris Apartment. Enjoy your reading week and thanks for visiting my blog.

    1. Thank you for reminding me about this book. I'd marked it as "want to read" on Goodreads and completely forgot that it was written about Marthe de Florian. Definitely going to grab a copy now.
      Also, thank you for the return visit.

  8. It's always a bummer when the main character is not very likable. :( The book sounds pretty interesting but if you don't like the main protagonist the book is not going to be that fun of a read. It always makes me sad. Lol. Have a great week! :)

    1. Not liking the main protagonist made it very hard going and I think that is the reason A Paris Apartment was the only book I finished last week.