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The Lost Carousel of Provence – Juliet Blackwell

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★★★★

One thing was sure: This was not the fairy tale she had been looking for.

Life dealt Cady Drake a rough hand.

Orphaned nearly at birth, she bounced from foster home to foster home throughout her childhood – each time growing more and more jaded.

Cady was a bad seed, through and through. ..that is until she met Maxine, a wonderfully grumpy old women determined to turn that bad seed into something new.

It was then, in the junk shop, during reading lessons and antique restoration, that teenage Cady really began to live.

And after all, who said a bad seed couldn’t sometimes grow into a decent tree?

In present day, Cady is a photographer, manages to have a couple of close friends and is the proud owner of Gus, a carousal rabbit from France.

And then, the unthinkable happens and Maxine is gone. Once again, Cady feels completely adrift.

Cady was on a merry-go-round, and no matter how fast she galloped, she kept winding up at the same place.

Olivia, one of Cady’s few friends, realizes just how close Cady is to snapping. She has a proposal for her talented photographer friend.

“Because you’re bound to remain anonymous if you don’t get your art out there for people to see. Taking student portraits might pay the bills, but you’re an artist, And I can be your patron! Sort of. At least I can manage a plane ticket.

And after a few disgruntled and half-hearted arguments, Cady is off to France, with faithful Gus in tow, for a carousal photography assignment.

She’s swept away by the people, the art and most of all, the carousals. And soon, she stumbles upon the Chateau Clement – the possible original home of her Gus.

The Chateau contains secrets – the kind that have been locked away for decades.

And despite the ornery old man, the gossiping villagers, the hauntingly broken, Cady soon finds herself almost…. belonging in that odd, old place.

But even as she watched the carousel whirl round and round, each one more charming than the last, Cady felt something shifting within her.

I adored this one.

I’ve never given much thought to carousals and history – this book has definitely given me a whole new perspective on the matter.

In addition, Cady was a fresh and fabulous main character. Juliet Blackwell made Cady wondrously flawed and hilariously human. I wish I could just sweep her up into a hug.

I loved the way the flashbacks and current-day timelines blended seamlessly into a wonderfully tight-knit story.

Many times when I read stories with multiple timelines, I tend to get caught up in one timeline and end up ignoring the others in my rush to find out what happens. I’m happy to report that this was definitely not the case! Each timeline was masterfully done.

And (of course) my absolute favorite part was any scene with the grumpy old man in it – there’s just something about a gruff old guy with a heart of gold that wins me over every time.

Definitely one to check out – asap!

Audiobook Comments
While I did not listen to the audiobook version, I do want to mention Cady’s absolute love of them.

When Cady discovered audiobooks, she thought she had gone to heaven, and eagerly devoured one after another.

I feel like Cady and I just connected on a soul-to-soul level!

With thanks to Berkly Publishing and the author for a free copy in exchange for an honest review

Interested in this one from Juliet Blackwell? Pick up your copy from:  Amazon  or Barnes and Noble

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