Released: May 14th 2013
Publisher: Harper Collins
London, 1955: Grace Monroe is a young newlywed, eager to make a success of her marriage. However, with her intellectual curiosity and her unladylike talent for advanced mathematics, she finds the routine of elegant luncheons and exclusive parties among post-war London’ s social set more tiresome than exciting.
When Grace receives an unexpected inheritance from a woman she’ s never met, she finds herself suddenly in Paris, embarking upon a journey to discover not only the identity of her mysterious benefactor but also the hidden secrets of her own past.
In a story that takes us from New York in the 1920s to mid-century Monte Carlo, Paris and London, Grace discovers a world filled with the evocative, intoxicating power of perfume; an obsessive, desperate love between muse and artist; and a trail of dark memories that may mean she isn’ t the person she thinks she is at all.
I absolutely love historical fiction and anything having to do with fragrances. So, the fact that the author blended both elements together was both intriguing and cleverly done. The Perfume Collector is beyond exquisite; exploring mystery, societal issues concerning women of two different period in time, and of course, the beauty of romance and how various scents come in to play with intimacy among other things.
This story was truly a journey of self-discovery, and I was intrigued by every thing it had to offer. For one, the main characters. I liked Grace. My perception of the kind of person she was grew the more I read. Her personality came off as kind, accepting, but beautiful without understanding the meaning of the word and how she embodied that within herself. And towards the end you begin to see her character experience growth and start to acknowledge things she was apprehensive about in the beginning. I was happy that the author enabled Grace to breathe in a new found air of independence and come into herself a bit more. And as for Eva, well, I was completely taken by her. As oppose to the life of Grace, Eva’s was no fairy-tale She experienced the good and the ugly, and the fact that she overcame so much was just impressive.