Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro: A Book Review

I don't remember where I first heard about this book, but it has been sitting on my To Be Read shelf on Goodreads for a while. So on my most recent trip to the library I picked it up. The cover looked beautiful and the overall story seemed intriguing. However, I had my doubts. In the past I have not enjoyed most novels set in Paris and this one is primarily set there. As I began to read, the back and forth in time was interesting, but still made me hesitant. I was submerged into the various places and people of the novel quite easily and for the most part that was enjoyable. I didn't particularly like any of the characters and wondered more than once if society was really that way in the first half of the 20th century. So I wasn't completely sold on it. In fact about 3/4 of the way through the book, I started peaking ahead to see if I really wanted to finish it. I wasn't surprised by how the events unfolded, so they were rather obvious. The characters were still not particularly likable, so I had serious doubts about finishing this book. I decided to read a few more pages and see how it turned out. I'm glad I did because some of the characters finally became likable in the last 75 pages or so. The plot and setting were interesting enough to keep me reading through 350 pages or so, but it was the characters that made me finish the book.


The Perfume Collector: A Novel Paperback – February 4, 2014

Buy New $9.48

  • Print Length: 469 pages


Stephanie Faris said...

There have been good books set in Paris, for sure, but most of them have Paris as a very primary character! I went to Paris and was very unimpressed with it, so all I think about is how rude people were and how dirty the city was. I know books and movies romanticize the city a lot, though.

Andrea Ward said...

I think the over-romanticization and primary character treatment have turned me off to several novels which are set in Paris. This one felt like it was just a city that was no better or worse than any other. And at the same time it was educational about the culture of Paris. It might be the first time that I enjoyed Paris as the setting!

Thanks for reading and commenting. It is great to know that I am not the only skeptic when it comes to Paris.