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  1. BOOK REVIEW: Advice on Love and Life from Someone Who’s Been There by Cheryl Strayed Kate Forsyth 02-Mar-2018
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A fairy-tale infused historical novel for adults set in the late 18 th century, moving between Imperial China and France during the ‘Terror’ of the French Revolution, and inspired by the true story of a quest for a blood-red rose.

The novel will draw upon ‘The Blue Rose,’ a fairy tale set in China about a quest for an impossible rose.

True Pleasures - A Memoir of Women in Paris

Like many of us, Lucinda Holdforth has always been fascinated with Paris. Many of her favourite writers, such as Nancy Mitford, Edith Wharton, and Colette, lived in that most romantic and intriguing of cities, along with a scintillating cast of queens, courtesans, poets, artists, and fashion designers.

At a turning point in her life, Holdforth decides to follow in the footsteps of these women who, she felt, 'had something to say to me about crafting a beautiful life.' The result is part autobiography, part history, as Holdforth introduces us to women such as Hortense Mancini, who abandoned her husband and children for a life of pleasurable adventures, ending up as Charles II's mistress; or George Sand, who dressed as a man, and had affairs with Chopin and Mallefille, among many others, all while writing a flood of wildly successful novels. We meet the Empress Josephine, the doomed queen Marie Antoinette, the femme fatale Madame La Castioglione who, when her beauty faded, was never again seen unveiled, and the black dancer Josephine Baker, all while taking a tour through Paris, which was, Holdforth says, 'meticulously crafted by intelligent women for their pleasure.'

The same could be said of this book. It is aptly named, being a true pleasure to read. My only complaint was that it could have been twice the length.