Title: Last Christmas in Paris
Authors: Hazel Gaynor & Heather Webb
Genre: Historical Fiction
Narrators: Alex Wyndham, Billie Fulford-Brown, Morag Sims, Gary Furlong, Greg Wagland, Antony Ferguson, Derek Perkins, Jane Copland, Mary Jane Wells
Length: 8 hours (400 pages)
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Recommended for fans of: WWI historical fiction
Content Warnings: war, PTSD, depression, loss of loved ones, suicidal thoughts
New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor has joined with Heather Webb to create this unforgettably romantic novel of the Great War.
August 1914. England is at war. As Evie Elliott watches her brother, Will, and his best friend, Thomas Harding, depart for the front, she believes—as everyone does—that it will be over by Christmas, when the trio plan to celebrate the holiday among the romantic cafes of Paris.
But as history tells us, it all happened so differently…
Evie and Thomas experience a very different war. Frustrated by life as a privileged young lady, Evie longs to play a greater part in the conflict—but how?—and as Thomas struggles with the unimaginable realities of war he also faces personal battles back home where War Office regulations on press reporting cause trouble at his father’s newspaper business. Through their letters, Evie and Thomas share their greatest hopes and fears—and grow ever fonder from afar. Can love flourish amid the horror of the First World War, or will fate intervene?
Christmas 1968. With failing health, Thomas returns to Paris—a cherished packet of letters in hand—determined to lay to rest the ghosts of his past. But one final letter is waiting for him…
This World War I historical fiction novel is told through letters. It was really sweet and romantic watching Evie and Thomas slowly fall in love through exchanging letters after he went off to war. This book was emotional, heartfelt, and well researched, depicting the realities of the war on the front and back home in England, and how the reality vastly differed from the media portrayal.
While the letter format made this a quick read, it unsurprisingly led to some misinterpretations and miscommunications. I also didn’t think letters were the best way to resolve some of the conflicts in the book, and I especially thought that ending felt choppy and rushed.
I probably would never have read this book if my book club hadn’t picked it for December because HF is just not my genre, but it was the perfect book to read outside of my comfort zone around the holidays. The full cast audiobook was wonderful.