Book Club Selection : “A Paris Apartment” by Michelle Gable

We are in the 7th month of the year which also is the 7th book of the book club. This month my selection is “A Paris Apartment” by Michelle Gable. The story is inspired by a true story from Paris. In 2010 a Paris Apartment was discovered untouched for 70 years. The apartment and all its contents from the Belle Epoque including a Boldini painting are rich with history. Marthe de Florian the owner of the apartment fled for the south of France just before the Nazi occupation of France during World War II leaving behind a time capsule telling the story of her life.  It is in the letters that were found on the vanity of Marthe de Florian that share some of the secrets of her past. 

@gettyimages marthe de florian paris apartment

The author Michelle Gable uses the apartment and letters as inspiration to write the story behind “The Paris Apartment”  creating a story behind Marthe de Florian and her life. April Vogt is a furniture specialist for Sotheby’s and is sent to Paris to catalog and set the contents of the apartment for auction. April is enchanted with the story of Marthe de Florian and is able to identify the unsigned painting in the apartment as a Boldini. April discovers the letters left behind and starts to uncover the story of the past. It isn’t just about the furniture and what has been left behind in the apartment but the story of the woman that lived there. The story moves between the present and the past and tells the story of both Marthe de Florian from the early years until her death and April in present time discovering each piece by piece.

@gettyimages marthe de florian paris apartment

@gettyimages marthe de florian boldini painting

When I first heard about the book I put it on my reading list and quickly dove in. I read on the plane on the way to Portugal and then again on the train where I finally finished the book. I mistakingly left the book on the train as we left in our hurry for our stop. I didn’t know the history or story behind the book until after it was finished. Now I can look at the photos of the apartment and the Boldini apartment and see what inspired Michelle Gable to write the book. Even if you have read the book hopefully this will give you a little glimpse into the apartment if you didn’t know the photos existed. 

@gettyimages marthe de florian paris apartment

Upon further research, (architectural digest article) I discovered the book “The Velvet Hours” was based on the same apartment so if you prefer to read that one you can. I would love to read them both and see the differences in the stories from the authors. There is no right or wrong story as we will never know the whole truth. 

Have you read “The Velvet Hours” or “A Paris Apartment” I would love to know what you think. 

If you enjoyed “The Perfume Collector” I think you would enjoy “A Paris Apartment” 

Comment below and tell me where you are spending your Summer I will send one reader to receive a copy of their own to read “A Paris Apartment 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Good morning,

    I just stumbled upon your website and coincidently I have read most of the books on your list. I enjoyed reading the Paris Apartment and am pleasantly surprised to see pictures of the actual apartment.- thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Amber,

      I am so glad that you found me! The pictures really help complete the story don’t they? The author, Michelle Gable is sweet enough to be answering questions about the book for us. If you have any for her please pass them along 🙂

  2. Just in love with your reading list! I am enjoying The Perfume Collector and can’t wait to read more of your recommendations. I’m spending my summer in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and the Pacific Northwest!

    • Thank you Leslie! The Perfume Collector has been a blog favorite from everyone so far. I am so happy you are enjoying it. Have a great Summer of travel. I have never been to the Pacific Northwest but I hear great things!

  3. Thanks for the great book recommendations. I always look forward to what you’ll be choosing. I read The Paris Wife during a weekend sailing trip and could not put it down! My husband was so upset I didn’t want to go kayaking but to read instead! Ha! Will definitely pick up both The Velvet Hours and A Paris Apartment for our 10 day sailing trip to the San Juan Islands in the Pacific Northwest!

    • my pleasure! I am so happy you enjoyed The Paris Wife. It is a great book and always a good sign when you can’t put it down. I felt the same way with A Paris Apartment. I hope both books keep you great company while you sail this Summer. Safe travels!

  4. I have been wanting to read the Parisian Apartment! 🙂 It looks so good! Mostly in Houston, TX with trips to St. Louis, MO, maybe California later this summer. 🙂

  5. Minneapolis, MN but long weekend trips planned to Wisconsin, New Buffalo, MI, Denver, CO and Napa/Sonoma wine country in CA.

  6. I read this book and I LOVED it!! It was such an interesting story and I was surprised at some of the turns. 🙂 There is another book about. It as well, but I forget the title. This is a great pick!!

  7. I’m spending the rest of my summer at home in Seattle, but was in Ireland, London, Paris, and the Riviera last month.

    • Marsi,

      That sounds like a very fun travel year so far! Enjoy your Summer in Seattle!


  8. I read this book a while ago and I was really impressed by the discovered apartment. So impressed that I have a poster of the painting in my living room…

  9. This book sounds really interesting! I love books that manage to combine the past and present and tell more than one story. I spent a fair amount of my spring and late winter traveling internationally for fun and domestically for work, so I’m spending my summer at home in Chicago with one quick weekend trip to Austin for my sister’s bachelorette.

    • Summer in Chicago is the best time! If Chicago was this good year round it would be the same population as NYC and double the rent costs. Enjoy your time at home!