Tuesday 19 July 2022

A Discovering Diamonds Review of Jasmine in Paris by Clare Flynn


Fictional saga
1950s
Malaysia/ France

Desperate to make her mark as an artist and prove herself as an independent woman, Jasmine Barrington heads for Paris and a place at the prestigious Beaux Arts school. Following in the footsteps of former students like Renoir and Degas, she immerses herself in her studies by day and discovers the caf├ęs and bars of the left bank by night.

But life in the City of Light is far from easy. Will the challenges and discipline of the classical training regime crush Jasmine’s creative spirit, and will her charismatic teacher, Lachlan, break her heart? Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Howard, the man to whom she owes her life, faces the daily dangers of the Malayan Emergency without so much as a postcard to fuel his fading hope that Jasmine might one day return to Penang.”

Set against Paris in the 1950s, this is an  entertaining read that follows on from the heroine, eighteen-year-old Jasmine Barrington’s life. I have not read the previous books, but found this one a suitable standalone, although as with most series worth reading it will always be best to start at the beginning.

Miss Flynn masterfully recreates the feel of the era and place by skilfully using historical detail and descriptive narrative.

Jasmine, an artist, leaves Penang for Paris where she enjoys her new life at the Beaux Arts School and the Parisian night life of the bars and cafes. It is not all roses, however; there are difficulties and challenges for her to face, new people to deal with, to learn to trust or distrust.

And then there are those she left behind in Malaya. Plantation manager Howard, who must face his own dangers and desperately wants Jasmine to return... no spoilers here, of course.

A novel that explores the emotions and motivations of believable characters, whilst evoking the upheavals of the time and place, all skilfully intertwined with the emergence of a delightful young lady as she grows into adulthood.

Reviewed for Discovering Diamonds 

© Mary Chapple
 e-version reviewed

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