I was intrigued with this novel just by reading its description. It seemed like such a wonderful mystery! Yet, it didn’t seem like an eery mystery. It seemed like something that could happen in real life. The perfume aspect seemed interesting as well. I don’t know much about perfume, so I figured this book may be a fun read.
The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro
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This novel is about Grace Monroe. She’s just discovered she received a large inheritance. The only thing is, she has no idea why this stranger would give her such a gift. Grace goes on a journey to figure out who this generous stranger was, and how she suddenly became so lucky.
This novel is one of those which switches stories from one chapter to another. By that, I mean one chapter is about Grace’s life, then the next is about someone else’s life somewhere else. In this case, the book starts off with a chapter about Eva D’Orsey in Paris. Eva is the one who gives Grace this wonderful gift. Now, now. Don’t worry. I didn’t just spoil it for you. You know who gave Grace the gift, but you don’t know why or how it’s significant.
After the first “Eva” chapter, the next one is about Grace’s life in London. From there, it doesn’t quite go back and forth between the current Grace and the current Eva. From there, the author goes on to talk about Eva’s childhood, to better understand her present state.
When Grace finds out she’s been given this gift from Eva, she immediately goes off to France to figure out the whole situation. When she arrives, she meets the man in charge of helping her figure out the gift. From there, the man and everyone else Grace meets who knew Eva tell her stories. Grace discovers so much about herself, her past and her future just through this journey.
I’ve either loved or hated the switch between chapters like in this novel. In the case of The Perfume Collector, I enjoyed it. I really liked hearing Eva’s history and so much about perfume. This novel actually made me wish I knew more about perfume! I’d love to learn.
The author got really descriptive at times, and it was great when she was talking about perfume, but not so great when it was just scenery. I know, I know, it’s supposed to help set the scene and whatnot, but I guess some part of me is just done with nature descriptions haha. That’s horrible to say because it’s in a lot of books, but let’s just say I’d rather see the nature than read about what it may look like. Defeats the purpose? Most likely. I guess I can only appreciate some fluffy writing, and others, not so much.
I did enjoy this book, however. I’d love to really see this as a movie. The descriptions, to the author’s advantage this time, were great throughout the book (when she wasn’t talking about nature.)
I’d love to see Grace and Eva’s characters really come to life.
I’d recommend this book if you’re at all into perfume, a bit of history, and of course, a great mystery.