🎉🎉🎉Happy Publication Day to Ella Carey 🎉🎉🎉 The Girl From Paris is out today and I’m taking part in the #BooksOnTour opening day.
Many thanks to Sarah Hardy of Bookouture for inviting to join and to Ella Carey for the guest post I’ve got for you! So grab a brew and have a read!
Vianne rushes through the crowded streets of Paris as the German bombs begin to fall. As she rounds the corner she sees the familiar spires of the old church burst into flames. Too late, she realizes that her mother and sister are trapped inside…
Paris, 1918. The end of war is in sight, and young seamstress Vianne Mercier is longing for the day when she can stop sewing military uniforms and start creating the beautiful dresses that she has been dreaming up in her head.
But just when it seems like peace is within reach, Vianne’s mother and sister are killed in a terrible air raid. To make matters worse, Vianne’s brother has returned home a changed man. Controlling and cruel, he presents Vianne with an ultimatum; give up her dreams of becoming a designer, or be forced onto the streets, penniless and alone.
With nothing left for her in Paris but sad memories, she decides to sail for New York. Determined not to look back, she throws herself into her new life—spending her days sewing dresses for wealthy Upper East Side women, and her evenings dancing the Charleston to Duke Ellington in the new downtown clubs. When Vianne meets handsome Italian Giorgio Conti, he encourages her career, and she feels safe for the first time since she lost her family.
Then news of a terrible accident compels Vianne to suddenly return to France, where she discovers proof of a wartime secret that changes everything she thought she knew about her family. Facing the threat of sickness and ruin, the people who forced Vianne out of her home now suddenly need her help.
Will Vianne find the courage to follow her heart, return to New York and her life with Giorgio? Or will duty bind her to the family she had left behind and force her to remain in France?
From Amazon Charts bestseller Ella Carey comes an utterly gripping and emotional historical wartime novel about the terrible choices people made during humanity’s darkest days. Fans of Fiona Valpy, Rhys Bowen and The Nightingale will adore this novel.
The Guest Post – What did Jazz really mean in the 1920s of The Girl from Paris?
Researching fabulous Jazz Age New York for my latest novel, The Girl from Paris, was nothing other than a complete treat, but it was also a revelation into the strength of the human spirit after one of history’s most troubled times, giving afascinating insight into one generation’s determination to make the most of their lives after the incomprehensible devastation of the First World War.
While the opening scenes of the novel take place during the final, dark days of The Great War, the majority of the book is set in fabulous 1920’s in New York. During this period, modernity was all the rage and women were at the fore.
Vianne, a Parisian seamstress who dreams of designing her own garments, spends every spare moment she can findsketching and dreaming up designs in her little notebook. She is inspired by the famous female French fashion designers, Gabrielle Chanel, Jeanne Paquin and Jenny, who forged on throughout the war to uphold the fashion industry, one of France’s most lucrative enterprises.
Vianne, struggling to redefine herself in war weary Paris after the heartrending tragedy she’s endured, discovers a copy of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tales of the Jazz Age in a bookshop in Paris. She curls up after long, back breaking days working as a seamstress under strict rule, losing herself in wonderful stories of constant parties and extravagant fashion in New York. Finally, Vianne decides to simply pack up and travel across the Atlantic Ocean in search of a new life, new hopes, new dreams, and the chance to work toward realising her own dearly held ambition, to design beautiful dresses for her very own clientele.
But what truly inspired Vianne to go to New York? What did jazz mean?
The notion of jazz in New York during the 1920’s lent itself not only to a celebration of modern music, but also to fashion and to youth. Jazz was a movement that was linked with a break from the past and from the older generation that had taken the world to war, from the old ways of behaviour and thought. Jazz embraced everything modern, new, and unconventional, and was democratic.
During the First World War, women’s lives had changed on an unprecedented scale. Many women took up paid work outside the home for the very first time. In Paris, women worked in occupations such as drivers and tram and bus conductors. They worked in munition factories and as nurses on the frontlines in Northern France. The effect of the war was dramatic- women were no longer only seen as either domestic servants, or the lady of the house.
The opportunities after the war in the New World, unravaged by war seemed limitless, and New York was a city on fire.
When Vianne arrives in New York, she is immediately told to cut her long blonde hair short, and that she must experience the wonderful jazz clubs if she is truly to become a modern young woman.
I’ll let you read more about the wonderful world of the 1920’s New York, and I’ll let you discover whether Vianne is lucky enough to realise her dreams but suffice to say that in 1920’s New York, it was more a matter of jazz embracing Vianne than anything else. For a young woman in this enticing, exciting jazz era, anything went!
Who Is Ella Carey?
Ella Carey is the USA Today and Amazon charts bestselling author of eight novels of historical fiction, including the Secrets of Paris Series, published with Hachette imprint, Bookouture. Ella’s novels have reached over one million readers and have been translated into fourteen languages. Ella has recently signed a six book deal in Germany and a nine book deal in Denmark. Ella’s latest novels are A New York Secret, and The Lost Girl of Berlin, both published with Bookouture in 2021. The Girl from Paris is the third novel in this new series, and will publish in January, 2022. Ella has a music degree in classical piano, and an arts degree majoring in English and history. Her novels have been shortlisted for ARRA awards. For further information: