Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Book review of Overture by Vanessa Couchman

French Village Diaries book review Overture Vanessa Couchman
Overture by Vanessa Couchman
Overture by Vanessa Couchman
What if you had a unique talent, but everything conspired against your dreams?

France, 1897. Born to a modest farming family, Marie-Thérèse has a remarkable singing voice and wants to become a professional singer. But too many obstacles, including her parents' opposition, stand in her way. And, through no fault of her own, she makes a dangerous enemy of the local landlord.
When the family circumstances change suddenly, Marie-Thérèse and her mother must move to Paris to work in her aunt's restaurant. Her ambitions rekindle, but the road to success is paved with setbacks until a chance meeting gives her a precious opportunity.
She is close to achieving all her dreams, but the ghosts of the past come back to haunt her and threaten Marie-Thérèse's life as well as her career.

French Village Diaries book review Overture Vanessa Couchman
Overture blog tour 

My review

Marie-Thérèse has a talent for singing and would also have loved to continue her education, but life in a poor farming family in rural Aveyron meant neither were an option for her, as she was needed to work. Money was scarce, life was hard and suddenly made harder when tragic circumstances force the family from their farm. 

Leaving their beloved Aveyron, Marie-Thérèse and her mother find themselves in Paris, working long hours for a bed and good meals at her Aunt’s restaurant, Bistrot Mazars, Specialities Aveyronnaises. Here we are thrown into the Paris bistrot culture, where those who had left the countryside for better opportunities flocked to enjoy a taste of home and a friendly face. Life here couldn’t have been more different for Marie-Thérèse and Augustine.

As Paris opens up to Marie-Thérèse she gets a peek into the world of music and opera and a few chance opportunities to sing, all of which rekindle her ambition to become a singer. Despite a few false starts and many obstacles in her way, she meets someone who believes in her and wants for her to succeed. With the right encouragement and lots of hard work, could her dream one day come true? 

Vanessa Couchman has the ability to bring history to life and this book was no exception. I felt the hardships of Marie-Thérèse’s early life; the grief, the hunger and the despair. Paris was as exciting for me as it was Marie-Thérèse and the way she embraced her new life and work in Paris, meant I really wanted her to have the chance to grasp the opportunity to become a singer, and to succeed.

As well as the contrasts of rural France and Paris, world events including the Titanic and the unease in Europe before the start of the First World War are all woven really well into the storyline, along with the glamourous world of the Opera and European travel in the early 1900’s.

Overture is the first book in a trilogy and I’m really looking forward to reading the next instalment. If you enjoy historical novels, you should add this to your summer reading list.

Purchase Link

French Village Diaries book review Overture Vanessa Couchman
Vanessa Couchman

Author Bio – Vanessa Couchman is a novelist, short story author and freelance writer and has lived in an 18th-century farmhouse in southwest France since 1997. French and Corsican history and culture provide great inspiration for her fiction. She has written two novels set on the Mediterranean island of Corsica: The House at Zaronzaand The Corsican Widow. Her third novel, Overture, is Book 1 of a trilogy set in France between 1897 and 1945. Vanessa’s short stories have won and been placed in creative writing competitions and published in anthologies. 
Social Media Links – 
Amazon Author Page:

French Village Diaries book review Overture Vanessa Couchman
Overture blog tour 21st to 27th June 2019

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for featuring and reviewing my book. I'm sorry for the delay in commenting directly, but I think you might have seen on Twitter or Facebook that I had internet problems last week, so I'm only just able to catch up properly. Your participation greatly appreciated. Vanessa


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