Hello bookloving friends!
A new blog tour is on the move for you! This time I’ve spent some time in the early 1900’s France where I’ve met Marie-Thérèse and her family, and I think I will keep following this story until the last book is published, which I hope won’t be in a too distant future. The synopsis is borrowed from Goodreads:
France, 1897. Born to a modest farming family, Marie-Thérèse has a remarkable singing voice and wants to become a professional singer. But too many obstacles, including her parents’ opposition, stand in her way. And, through no fault of her own, she makes a dangerous enemy of the local landlord.
When the family circumstances change suddenly, Marie-Thérèse and her mother must move to Paris to work in her aunt’s restaurant. Her ambitions rekindle, but the road to success is paved with setbacks until a chance meeting gives her a precious opportunity.
It took me a while to read Overture without being completely able to tell you why. I was intrigued early on, and the story seemed good. I really liked Marie-Thérèse as a strong, main female character. She has a lot of very likeable traits while she is also rebellious and stubborn. Since the story takes place in France between 1897 and 1914 there’s a lot of things that are different from today’s society, but the fact that young people are rebellious and need to break free from their parents at some point in life haven’t changed and I think Couchman has made this, among other things, very relatable for the reader. This is one of the things I believe makes this book relevant for younger readers too.
Another aspect that makes this book relevant to several readers is the historical events that take place within this part of the storyline. I don’t have to mention them, because the historical period is pretty well known, and it’s more fun for the reader to discover this for themselves. I love history as you all well know by now, but I found it very interesting to learn about this time period from rural and urban France perspective. I have read very few books with a French perspective, and even though this is historical fiction, you still get a sense of how people experienced this part of the century. It was easy to engage with the feelings people experienced, and while I’ve never experienced anything major in the form of personal disaster in my entire life, Couchman still made it easy to engage with the feelings people experience in this book and I enjoyed that more than I expected to do.
Surprisingly, the L’Alouette trilogy really grew on me while I read it, and I believe that I’ll continue to read this until the final book. These books aren’t too long, so they are manageable. Haha, that sounds like they’re a real bore to read, but this one truly wasn’t! I’m just not in the mood for massive books these days, because I’m still working on two quite heavy ones, and short books in a historical fiction trilogy set in a good time period are just perfect! I’m excited to follow Marie-Thérèse and Frederic on more adventures and see how everything ends!
Overture is a short, pleasant, and interesting read. If you enjoy stories set in France I highly recommend this one because it is full of small details which truly makes the story complete and possible to visualise while you read it. It’s also a little sunshine story about a woman who has a dream and pursues it no matter what, even though her society and family doesn’t view her dream as proper due to her family background. I’m looking forward to the next couple of books to see where Marie-Thérèse’s journey is going to end, and if this sounds like your type of book then I suggest that you check it out too!
Genre: Historical fiction
Theme: Music, family, dreams
Vanessa Couchman is a novelist, short story author and freelance writer and has lived
in an 18th-century farmhouse in southwest France since 1997. French and Corsican history and culture provide great inspiration for her fiction. She has written two novels set on the Mediterranean island of Corsica: The House at Zaronza and The Corsican Widow. Her third novel, Overture, is Book 1 of a trilogy set in France between 1897 and 1945. Vanessa’s short stories have won and been placed in creative writing competitions and published in anthologies.
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