A city beseiged…

Recently I was offered an ARC of Paris in Ruins by MK Tod in return for an honest review.

Until now, my knowledge of MK Tod had been the most inspired surveys not just about historical fiction but about readers’ attitudes. In my opinion, her surveys are state of the art from year to year and required reading for any hist.fict author.

I hadn’t read any of her other work and had no idea of her creative style. I approached Paris in Ruins with some trepidation as it’s not a chosen timeframe and I may well have bypassed it on a shelf.

Simply, I would have missed a polished and well-contrived novel. What a beautifully written and well-framed and mounted drama.

Written from the point of view of two upper middle-class women, I learned so much about an integral part of French history. The women must get down and dirty as Paris becomes a city under siege, not just by the Prussians but cruelly, by its own disenfranchised citizens.

It’s a violent city, confronting in the extreme for the primary characters and I think Tod has handled the events with honesty and without shrinking from the inevitable trail of war wounds. She has managed to depict an emotional and crumbling social hierarchy as the Prussians bombard the walls of the city. This is a true drama!

I recommend this book to readers who want to take a step sideways and read about a fascinating part of French history. Not only that, as we watch parts of the world sinking into anarchy, it makes one realise that nothing in history is new and that the world rarely learns from past mistakes.

You can find your copy of this compelling read here: