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So This is Paris

So This is Paris: a book review of The Paris Lawyer by Sylvie Granotier

From my literary vacation to Paris, here’s my book review.

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Books So This is Paris

So This is Paris: The Paris Lawyer

The Paris Lawyer I’ve featured before so we thought it would be fun to visit some of the locations mentioned in the book!

My Creuse by Sylvie Granotier

The Paris Lawyer is a psychological thriller set in Paris, yes, but also in Creuse, a rural region in the center of France. Here are some of my favorite spots there, and inspiration for the book.

carte_creuse

In Creuse, there is not much in terms of public transportation, so you need a car. Wherever you drive, you’ll find beauty. There are small rivers, forests, grazing cows, sheep and lambs in the spring. The land slopes gently up and down. Stop, walk around and if you see a café, don’t miss a chance to stop. There are not many, which is strange for France, but that’s what it’s like here. Visit the churches also. They are all ancient—sixteenth century is banal.

route de Creuse

Creuse is not renowned for its cuisine. Still in Aubusson, I can recommend Le Lion d’or, which has great food and a pretty setting. Aubusson also has a fascinating tapestry museum.

Guéret has a municipal museum, with hidden treasures and the funniest assemblage of stuffed animals, snakes on the ceilings, sad lions and funny dogs, goats, wolves, chickens, birds, what have you.

There’s a book fair on a Friday in mid-August in Felletin. All year around every Friday morning, Felletin has a wonderful open-air market, with excellent produce, meat, cheeses and bread. It’s pretty and joyous.

Settings from The Paris Lawyer

And if you want to visit settings I used for my novel, take the road from Aubusson to Pontarion, turn left toward Chavanat, drive on towards Le Monteil Vicomte and you’ll find La Rigole du Diable—The Devil’s Wash, where the climax occurs. Catherine stays in a guesthouse in Aubusson. It exists and belongs to my friends Jean-Pierre and Nicole Dessemond.

There’s another one in a small village ten kilometers from there that is very pretty and comfortable two, owned by my friends Jean Claude and Anne Marie Arvez.

And, the prettiest village of them all, because no modern construction ever damaged its charm, is Chambon-sur-Voueize. It is worth the drive and has a lovely restaurant, l’Auberge de la Voueize.

Finally, a place to see very near my house is Moutier d’Ahun, a beautiful ancient church where in the seventeenth century, a passing woodcarver stopped and sculpted the most incredible pageant faces and fruits and devils. In that village, there is also a very unusual bridge over a lovely river.

And then there are the ruins in the woods…

Something both urgent and mysterious guides Catherine through this confusing labyrinth. She no longer feels worried or tired. She is going where she has to go. She stops in front of a bright yellow bush the color of the sun, shining with a luminous intensity reminiscent of springtime. She feasts her eyes on it before again sensing something that is simply out of synch. The burning bush marks the entrance to another world. Two steps are enough for her to discover the ruins of a mansion.

The details that remain indicate that this home once had nobility. The structure no longer has a roof, and the walls are crumbling, but there’s a small, elegant wrought iron balcony, a stone staircase with a subtle curve to it, and splendid window frames. These ruins are more romantic than worrisome.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA She decides that it is Sleeping Beauty’s castle and thinks about her mother, because, clearly, everything comes back to her mother.

(from The Paris Lawyer, chapter 17)

Sleeping Beauty’s house?

Yep, I’ll play along. Wasn’t that tour spectacular? Have you ever been to inner France?  I’ve never gone further South than Rouen and Caen, which were both lovely.