Posted in Book Review

Book Review: To Capture What We Cannot Keep

to-capture-what-we-cannot-keep

Title:  To Capture What We Cannot Keep

Author:  Beatrice Colin

Publisher:  Flatiron Books

Pages:  304

Genre:  Historical Fiction, Romance

Setting:  1887-1890, mostly in Paris, France

Source:    Net Galley

Publication Date:  Nov 29, 2016

Blurb:

In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Émile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris, France–a moment of pure possibility. But back on firm ground, their vastly different social strata become clear. Cait is a widow who because of her precarious financial situation is forced to chaperone two wealthy Scottish charges. Émile is expected to take on the bourgeois stability of his family’s business and choose a suitable wife. As the Eiffel Tower rises, a marvel of steel and air and light, the subject of extreme controversy and a symbol of the future, Cait and Émile must decide what their love is worth.

Seamlessly weaving historical detail and vivid invention, Beatrice Colin evokes the revolutionary time in which Cait and Émile live–one of corsets and secret trysts, duels and Bohemian independence, strict tradition and Impressionist experimentation. To Capture What We Cannot Keep, stylish, provocative, and shimmering, raises probing questions about a woman’s place in that world, the overarching reach of class distinctions, and the sacrifices love requires of us all.

What I Say:

This was an interesting book. Set in the late 1800’s Paris, it’s filled with drama and romance. Cait is damaged, but strong and a survivor. She’s paid to be the chaperone to Alice. Alice is young, naive, spoiled, and easily led. What saves her from being completely irredeemable is that she’s very sweet. Alice’s brother, Jamie, is a playboy, spoiled, selfish, and entitled. I really disliked this character but I guess you could say that his redeeming quality is that he’s too young to know better, but that’s a convenient excuse. Then we have Emile. He’s the man behind Eiffel’s tower. Smart, complex, and flawed in many ways.

What I liked about this book was the history. Colin’s writing gives the story momentum and you’re definitely given the feeling of wanting to know what’s next.

What I didn’t like was that too many aspects of the story weren’t addressed in the end, which isn’t the same as an ambiguous ending, it was more like plot holes. Colin also jumped back and forth in time in the form of the characters recollecting past events. This, oftentimes, was confusing and felt more like an interruption than going with the flow of the story.

I thoroughly disliked the ending but can’t say why without spoilers. It’s the kind of the book with writing and characters that I’ll forget completely in a week or two. As a matter of fact, I finished this book on Oct 9th and without my written notes to jog my memory, I would’ve had a hard time writing this at all.

2 Hearts

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Author:

Bibliophile * INTJ * LIS Graduate Student at Kent State * Mom * Social Media Junkie * BuJo Enthusiast * Planner Addict * Did I mention, I read a lot?

2 thoughts on “Book Review: To Capture What We Cannot Keep

  1. Just finished this- and I totally agree with your review! I thought that there was at least 100 pages left and was shocked at how quickly and abruptly the ending was, especially considering how well developed the rest of the story had been. The way the characters ended bothered me as well- kind of hard to imagine, but otherwise I enjoyed this read, too! Definitely up for another book from this author.

    Like

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