The Roaring Twenties
The Paris Sister by Adrienne Chinn is a marvelous historical novel following the lives of three sisters through the roaring twenties.
The world is in a time of immense change after World War I. The role of women is a complex one. World War I gave women many freedoms but as the men returned home, the lives of women were expected to go back in the box.
The women in the story are all strong characters, knowing their own minds. They believe in equality with men and set out to achieve this in their various ways. The women are forced to be strong due to their personal circumstances as some are coping without their husbands and one is married to a weak man.
This is a cosmopolitan novel as we travel from England to Canada, Paris, Italy and Egypt, following the various characters. Paris after the War is full of gaiety and life. Italy is beautiful with sun, sea and sand. Egypt is wild, dusty and full of adventure as the tomb of Tutankhamun is about to be opened up in 1922. Canada has a wilderness waiting to be tamed.
The reader is treated to all this and more as we follow the events and characters through the twenties, ending with the Wall Street Crash in October 1929.
We witness various marriages. There are challenges and difficulties within them all – from an overbearing mother-in-law to mixed marriages to addictions. Through it all, the sisters and their mother support each other either via letter or in person.
The Paris Sister was an epic read giving a glimpse into a bygone era and a world teetering on the brink of modernity.
I received a free copy via Net Galley. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.