I get book recommendations randomly from people all the time. Foolishly, I used to buy every book recommended to me and I have shelves and shelves of unread books to prove it. As it turns out some of my favorite people who I respect and admire greatly do not always have the same taste in books that I do. Because of all of these unread books, I now do a little bit of research before a new book hits my Amazon cart. This is a long way around saying that I am now polite acceptor of recommendations without being an over eager buyer when a new book is recommended to me.
My sweet friend, Janet, who I work out with every single Monday through Friday recently recommended “The Perfume Collector” and I politely listened to her as she told me of this book. I don’t know why but I was pretty certain I would research and then discard this title because it sounded a little bit too “mainstream” for me.
Boy was I wrong.
This is a historical fiction novel set in London in 1955 about a young woman, Grace, who learns she has inherited some valuable property from a mysterious woman. Grace goes on a pilgrimage to France to learn more about this property and the woman who bequeathed it to her.
The book reads like a Cinderella fairly tale with Grace being transported from her former life in London to a new and more exciting one in France.
This is Kathleen’s fifth novel and you can tell she is a pro. She has a knack for placing you right in the middle of the setting and tells a compelling and interesting tale of both of these young women who eventually learn of their importance to each other.
This is a good book club book as there are interesting topics to discuss and you learn a lot about the art and science of making and appreciating perfume. As I read this book my sense of smell became more acute and I spent time thinking about the impact that smell has on my life.
As one of the characters in the book says: ” Maybe we need to literally come to our senses, to return to our sense of taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing to find sustenance in them….Our senses have the power to make us human.”
For a light but entertaining read that will make you want to run out and buy some unique perfume, read this one!