Before I start my review, I would like to thank NetGalley and Flatiron Books for allowing me to review To Capture What We Cannot Keep.
**All opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone. I received To Capture What We Cannot Keep from NetGalley via Flatiron Books as an ARC for my honest and unbiased review**
Now onto my review:
Format read in: Kindle
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Date of publication: November 29th, 2016
Where to find this book: Amazon
Part of a series? No
Number of pages: 304
Book Synopsis (via Goodreads):
Set against the construction of the Eiffel Tower, this novel charts the relationship between a young widow and an engineer who, despite the constraints of class and wealth, fall in love.
In February 1887, Caitriona Wallace and Émile Nouguier meet in a hot air balloon, floating high above Paris–a moment of pure possibility. But back on firm ground, their vastly different social strata become clear. Cait is a widow who because of her precarious financial situation is forced to chaperone two wealthy Scottish charges. Émile is expected to take on the bourgeois stability of his family’s business and choose a suitable wife. As the Eiffel Tower rises, a marvel of steel and air and light, the subject of extreme controversy and a symbol of the future, Cait and Émile must decide what their love is worth.
Seamlessly weaving historical detail and vivid invention, Beatrice Colin evokes the revolutionary time in which Cait and Émile live–one of corsets and secret trysts, duels and Bohemian independence, strict tradition, and Impressionist experimentation. To Capture What We Cannot Keep, stylish, provocative, and shimmering, raises probing questions about a woman’s place in that world, the overarching reach of class distinctions, and the sacrifices love requires of us all.
When I started reading this book, I didn’t know what to think about it. To be honest, the plot crept and I felt that it was weighted down by one-dimensional characters. I felt that there was no life to anyone but Cait and Emile. Jamie, Alice, and Gabrielle…their portrayals were stereotypical of that time. I struggled to read the first half of the book, to be honest, because I felt bogged down by it.
I changed my mind by the 2nd half of the book. We learn more about Cait’s marriage, Alice and Jamie flushed out as characters and in surprising ways and Gabrielle….well she ended up being a woman scorned (READ THE BOOK!!!).
But overall, the love story of Cait and Emile was present…as was the construction of the Eiffel Tower and Emile’s social/status obligations. Which made the 2nd half of the book so interesting to read.
The ending of the book was perfect. Just saying, I couldn’t have written it any better myself.
How many stars will I give To Capture What We Cannot Keep? 3
Why? While beautifully written, the plot did sag during some points during the first half of the book.
Will I reread this book? Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes
Age range: Adult
Why? There are some mild language, some sexual situations and some scenes of drug use.