by Santa Montefiore
published by Simon & Schuster
Why Read?: Review
Challenges: British Books, A to Z, 100 Books in a Year
I hate to admit it, but I had never heard of Santa Montefiore until now. However, if her latest novel, The Woman from Paris, is any indication, I am now a fan.
When Lord George Frampton, his devoted widow, Antionette, expected her world to change. What she did not expect is his secret illegitimate daughter to appear at the funeral. The immensely likable Phaedra quickly turns the life of the Framptons upside down as each member has a different reaction to her. One of the strongest reactions is from David, the oldest of Antionette's three boys, who fell in love with the mysterious woman at first sight...before finding out she was his half sister. Another strong reaction comes from the wife of the middle son who sees Phaedra as a threat, especially after the will is read. How this family comes together makes for a wonderful tale that readers will relish and remember long afterwards.
Montefiore knows how to immediately draw a reader into a character-driven story, which is oftentimes harder than one that relies many on action. Her characterization is superb, as is her imagery, especially in bringing the lush English countryside to life. With writing this good, an author is able to really take her time with the story and the reader enjoys just meandering along.
With The Woman from Paris, I have fallen in love with Santa Montefiore's writing. I will definitely be seeking how more of her works.