Belle Epoque - YA Review by Kit K

Reader: Kit K
Age: 15
Title: Belle Epoque
Author: Elizabeth Ross
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Pub Date: 06/11/13
Galley: Yes
Top 25: No
Convince us to read the book: The dialogue Ross presents us with is perfect, using both English and a wee bit of French to help set the mood. Her descriptions of the setting reel you in from architecture to fashions of the time, though I sometimes got mixed up with the names of places during the story. The characters reflected the time period well and also varied nicely in personalities and lifestyles, offering an array to be experienced. The overall tone was appropriate, but I would have also liked to see a little more between Paul and Maude since they didn't have many scenes together.
Memorable or Forgettable:  Belle Epoque was an excellent execution of historical fiction for teens using a mixture of aristocracy and peasantry with flawed but lovable characters.
Cover: The cover was better than most, but could still use room for improvement. It did, however, reflect the contents, but it feels like there's a lot going on with the gold designs.
Age Range: 14 through 17
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal
Annotation: In 1880s France, young Maude Pichon escapes her life as the future wife of a middle-aged butcher, and leaves her farm town life for the excitement of Paris. Forced to take a soul-crushing job to support herself financially, Maude learns that the enchanting City of Light has some secrets up her sleeve. Ross weaves a lovely tale that will keep you reading until you can stay up no longer.

tags: historical fiction / repoussoir / ya lit

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