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100 Pages A Day...Stephanie's Book Reviews

I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way.  I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.

Last Christmas in Paris

Last Christmas in Paris: A Novel of World War I - Heather Webb, Hazel Gaynor

In 1969 Tom Harding makes a final trip to Paris for Christmas.   While he is there he re-reads all the letters sent between 1914 and 1918.  In 1914, Evie Elliot's brother, Will and best friend, Tom  leave for the Front.  Evie diligently writes to both of them. In their letters, the three divulge their greatest wishes, fears, and emotions.  Most of all, they all wish for the war to be over by Christmas so they may celebrate the holiday in Paris.  Little do they know how much the War will change all of them.  

An all at once heartwarming and heartbreaking story of love and loss during World War I.  Told almost entirely in letter exchanges between Evie and her loved ones, this book completely enveloped me as I devoured every word.  There was so much passion in the writing, especially the letters between Thomas and Evie, I felt as if these could be two real people.  I felt like I was immersed into their most intimate moments and my heart raced for when they would finally declare their love for one another.   Through the letters, I was able to see the impact of the war from all sides. Through Evie, I got a sense of how it felt to be left behind, the worry, dread and depression of fearing that your loved ones may not come home and the overwhelming urge to do something about it.  Through Tom, the gruesome depictions of the Front that the media wouldn't let anyone know of as well as the mental toll that war takes on the soldiers.  Also, through Evie's exchanges with her friend Alice, we learn of the many ways that women jumped in to help from delivering the mail, to nursing and driving ambulances to the Auxillary Corps and even writing newspaper articles.  What affected me most was Tom's re-reading of the letters and his opening of the final letter at the end.  Overall, a wonderfully written historical novel reminding me of the sacrifices made by our veterans. 

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.