The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro
One letter will turn newly-married Grace Munroe’s life upside down:
‘Our firm is handling the estate of the deceased Mrs Eva D’Orsey and it is our duty to inform you that you are named as the chief beneficiary in her will. We request your presence at our offices at your earliest convenience, so that we may go through the details of your inheritance.’
There is only one problem. Grace has never heard of Eva D’Orsey.
So begins a journey which leads Grace through the streets of Paris and into the seductive world of perfumers and their muses. An abandoned perfume shop on the Left Bank will lead her to unravel the heartbreaking story of her mysterious benefactor, an extraordinary woman who bewitched high society in 1920s New York and Paris.
When Grace receives a letter from French lawyers informing her of an inheritance she is left intrigued, who is Eva and why has she mentioned Grace in her will.
Leaving London Grace goes in search of the truth, as she learns about Eva she starts to discover more about herself, causing her to look at her life as a trophy wife in a different way.
The story flits between 1950’s life with Grace and 1920’s life with Eva, as we learn who the women are we find ourselves on a journey of discovery.
After Grace’s initial meeting with the solicitors, she is still none the wiser as to who Eva is and why she has left Grace an inheritance.
So Grace goes in search of answers which lead her to a perfume shop and three fragrances, It’s time for Grace to discover who Eva was.
‘The Perfume Collector’ is a moving story, that enticed me within the first page. I found both Eva and Grace to be fascinating women and I loved how the story was told through smells.
There is an abundance of characters that come in and out of Eva’s life and although the majority of them aren’t pleasant they help to tell the story of who she was.
2013 is bringing us some amazing books and ‘The Perfume Collector’ is definitely up there, I cannot recommend it enough.