Last Christmas in Paris by Hazel Gaynor, Heather Webb

Even in the blackest hours remember that a new dawn is racing towards you.

 

Evie Elliott says goodbye to her brother Will and their childhood friend Thomas Harding as they depart to the war. No one expected it to last long, and the friends declared to spend next Christmas together in Paris. Walking under the Christmas lights on the Champs-Élysées, watch the Eifel Tower sparkling against the dark winter sky. However, the war lasted longer than they expected and the battles were horrifying.

With the first letter Evie sent to Will and Tom right after they depart, an amazingly sweet and touching love story begins. Evie and Tom going through the nightmare of the First World War together although they’re many miles apart.

No matter how many Great War novels I read, I can’t get enough of them and they keep touching my heart time after time. This novel was no exception. I was happy to take this journey with Evie, Tom, Will, Alice, and Amandine. Although the focus was on Evie and Tom, I enjoyed the stories of other characters as well.

I love how they grew fond of each other more and more with every letter. The letters became more personal, sentimental and deep. The way Evie helped Tom to stay focused and drag him out of his melancholy and how Tom inspired Evie to grow as a writer and as a person. They held on to each other throughout the war.

I liked how the war was shown from few different perspective and fates if it’s a British soldier at the Front, a battlefield nurse, indifferent civilians, British and French.

Thank God, for the ending because I was about to cry, but the last chapter saved my eyes from an awful teary waterfall.

The novel is mostly the exchange of letters between all of the characters and although it’s an interesting idea and it fit the narrative, it was a bit tiring for me to read the back and forward between the characters, felt a bit dazed. I know I would’ve enjoyed it more if it was a regular prose. However, it does not worsen the novel by any means, just a personal preference of mine.

Rating: 4/5

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