Sunday, April 30, 2017
This is a very remarkable novel. It must have been quite a project for Rutherford to come forth with a story of such magnitude and still remain pure and beautiful at its core.
I chose this novel in the local library because of its simple title and premise. The Epic novel of the city of Lights. Other works like London and New York were standing beside this one, but who doesn't love Paris? It might have lost a little of its romance in this day and age, but it still breaths history in a unique, romantic, revolutionary and secular way.
Rutherford has chosen to portray half a dozen families against the violent history of this metropolis, which gives a unique blend of fiction and non-fiction. I've always been intrigued by recent history, once even contemplating a future as history teacher, that I can't decide which I liked most. There's so much that I came to learn from Paris' turbulent past, woven into the life of fictitious characters that were so life-like that they were sure to bleed the same as me or you.
He takes us on a eventful trip going all the way back to the middle ages, up until the late sixties. The gentle threads that connect each of the families in this novel, creates an intricate lifeline throughout the most cataclysmic historic events. From the building of the Eifel tower, which I'm seeing with a different kind of respect, back to the court at Versailles, all the way to the resistance during the second world war, Rutherfurd never loses the connection between these families.
The only critique I can give is that this sculpting of history around the imagined story was in some parts of the novel a little too palpable. In 80% of the novel, you're not feeling the author's way of manipulating his creation, but the moments where it was noticed, it distracted from the novel. But in a novel of 800 pages it was definitely a fact completely forgiven.
Since I'm not going to give a rundown of events, because you'll have to read it to capture its magnificence, I conclude my two cents by saying that apart from the history and creation of a world inside a Paris already gone but never forgotten, realize this is also a very romantic story. History only gives the proper background for a story that's so perfect in portraying why Paris will forever be the City of Love. And sometimes even the City of Heartache.