This was my first Edward Rutherfurd historical novel and it will not be my last. It is the history of Paris as seen through the eyes of several generations of families–aristocratic, merchant and the lower classes. I loved the descriptions of the city and of the events from such an early time. At over 800 pages long, it covers about 700 years and follows 6 different family lineages over those years. At times it could get confusing, but thankfully there is a lineage tree included.
Similar to certain aspects of Ken Follett’s World Without End, Paris is the chronicle of several families centered around Paris from 1261 to 1968. I loved how the families were connected and how each family has its own stake in the future of Paris.
Having stood, in awe, beneath the Eiffel Tower,
I really loved the story of Thomas Gascon and how he helped to build it. Because the writing appears to be so well researched, it was fascinating. I also enjoyed the story of Jacob and his family turning to Catholicism to avoid their persecution as Jews. I enjoyed several of the seemingly minor characters’ stories that served as filler for the family trees.
At times, I was a little confused when the chapters jumped from the 1600s to the 1200s and back to the 1800s, until I had a grasp of how the characters would eventually come together. The last 300 pages read almost straight through the 1900s… Once that generation neatly met up, with each other, the author never looked back.
Very long and very enjoyable read. Even more so if you have ever spend anytime in Paris.