11 September 2018

Today's Read & Giveaway: The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell

Giveaway and feature: The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet BlackwellHow far down the rabbit hole do you allow your curiosity to take you? After discovering an old photograph hidden inside a miniature carousel animal, American freelance photographer Cady Drake couldn't resist digging into the history of a famous French carver.

1901 . . . Provence, France

No one has seen.

The chateau's usual ranks of gardeners and servants, grape pickers and kitchen staff, have been joined by Monsieur Bayol's crew of men hammering, sawing, sanding, and painting the newly arrived carousel. The cats, dogs, pigs, and rabbits were carved, painted, and gilded in Bayol's factory in Angers, but it has taken nine men to transport the pieces by rail, then by steam traction engine from the station to the chateau, and then to assemble the machine on-site. It will take another two weeks, perhaps a month, to complete the elaborately decorated salon that will house the carousel.

Josephine wishes it would take longer. She would be happy if they stayed forever. Especially the carver's apprentice.
The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell (Berkley, July September 18, 2018; opening lines, uncorrected proof)

Quick Facts
  • Setting: modern times in California and France; 20th-century France
  • Circumstances: Feeling alone in the world, freelancer Cady Drake takes an assignment to photograph France's antique carousels. Spurred on by a lifelong interest in master carver Bayol's work, Cady decides to track down a specific carousel lost to history, not realizing she might also find peace with herself in the process. 
  • Themes: family, France, art, women's issues, following one's passion
  • Genre: historical fiction mixed with a contemporary story
  • Why I want to read this book: Reviewers mention that the descriptions of French food and wine, Paris, and the beautiful Provence countryside are very well done. I don't know much about carousels, but this looks like a good place to start learning.
  • The author: Blackwell's earlier books (The Paris Key & Letters from Paris) were highly praised, so I have a good feeling about this story. For more on Juliet Blackwell, visit her website.
  • Provence: My interest in France is high right now because I just finished reading Peter Mayle's last memoir of his life in Provence and because I was in (northern) France just a couple of weeks ago.
  • Acknowledgments: thanks to Berkley for the eGalley and for hosting the giveaway.
The Giveaway

Thanks to the nice people at Berkley Books, I'm able to offer one of my readers (USA mailing address only) a finished copy Juliet Blackwell's The Lost Carousel of Provence. All you have to do to be entered for a chance to win is to have a USA mailing address and to fill out the following form. I will pick a winner via a random number generator on September 18. Once the winner has been confirmed, I'll forward his or her mailing address to the publisher and then erase all personal information from my computer. Good luck!


sjhigbee 9/11/18, 7:48 AM  

This sounds a wonderful, luscious read full of sensory writing about food and a wonderful way of life. I hope you really enjoy it!

My TT this week is about a young sci fi author who is too successful for his own good... https://sjhigbee.wordpress.com/2018/09/11/teaser-tuesday-11th-september-2018-brainfluffbookblog-teasertuesday/

Harvee 9/11/18, 10:20 AM  

Very French, and historical too.

Laura 9/11/18, 10:28 AM  

Sounds like an interesting bit of history involved in this story. Hope you're enjoying it. My Teaser is from The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher.

bermudaonion 9/11/18, 10:44 AM  

Who can resist a book set in France? Thanks for the giveaway!

Alice Audrey 9/11/18, 11:05 AM  

What fun! I'd like a carousel in my back yard.

Sassy Brit @ Alternative-Read.com 9/11/18, 11:44 AM  

Sounds like a busy book! Hope you're still enjoying it.

Here is my Tuesday post.

Enjoy your day!

sherry fundin 9/11/18, 12:00 PM  

Glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.
sherry @ fundinmental

Catherine @ Book Club Librarian 9/11/18, 12:06 PM  

I do like the sound of this one and am drawn to books about France, having visited Paris twice. And that cover is appealing too.

Margot 9/11/18, 12:34 PM  

Sounds like a good one. Love that cover.

Laurel-Rain Snow 9/11/18, 12:37 PM  

The settings and the time lines are pulling me in. Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

Vicki 9/11/18, 2:30 PM  

I've always loved carousels so this book sounds interesting to me.

Girl Who Reads 9/11/18, 5:31 PM  

It sounds really interesting. I'll have to my review Susan about the book as she loves anything to do with France. Thanks for stopping by Girl Who Reads.

Katherine P 9/12/18, 6:22 PM  

This sounds gorgeous. I've enjoyed Blackwell's paranormal cozies in the past and am curious to see how different this is.

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