Words are quite peculiar things, aren’t they? They form a sentence, they form a passage, they become an article or an essay, they become a book, they become a story. They record history, they document our way of life and they also entertain by forms of fictions and tales. They evoke feelings, they evoke emotions, happy and sad. They are quite the wicked things.
I always ponder the power of words. Especially after reading a book that makes me feel so many emotions. I wonder what I would be like if I hadn’t read this book, would I be having a moment like this to appreciate “words”? To appreciate the authors who have just taken me on an unforgettable journey?
“Last Christmas in Paris” is set during the WWI era in Europe. It mainly focused on Thomas, a lieutenant in the British army sent to the front in France, and Evie, a well-bred, refined and a sophisticated upper class young lady from London. 90% of the book consists of letters back and forth during 1914-1918 between Thomas and Evie and their friends and families. Again, the power of words which form a letter. In these letters, we get to learn their characters, their hopes and dreams, their despair and longing for the normality once again without this “war to end all wars”. Through these letters, we get to know Thomas, who is “charming without knowing it, intelligent without being boastful, and kind without expectation”; we get to know Evie, who is charming, refined but also full of adventurous spirit, who is so strong that she has stretched her wings from the comfort of home in London to the horrific frontline in France. These letters are full of humour, love, hope and yet, in times sadness, longing and devastation. Through these years of letters, they find love, they find each other. We get on this journey with them together and grow to care and love them.
I have truly enjoyed this story and book which make it one of my top reads in 2017. It is sad at times but it is full of hope and it is uplifting. I love the old style of language like “darling” and “my love”, these endearments are so heart-warming. I miss the letter writing. When was the last time we sent a hand-written letter to our loved ones? The loop, the flowing curve and flourish, I have missed seeing them, touching them.
I can’t stop thinking about Thomas and Evie, they are “but birds in flight, you and me. Let us catch the thermals together now, and soar.” Love them and love this book very very much. I have been thinking about Paris a lot lately because of this book, and you know what? I have just booked my ticket to spend Christmas there again this year. Joyeux Noël à Paris!
New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War.
August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes–as everyone does–that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris. But as history tells us, it all happened so differently… Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict–but how?–and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears–and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene? Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris–a cherished packet of letters in hand–determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…